Carey Blyton

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Carey Blyton (14 March 1932 – 13 July 2002) was a British composer and writer best known for his song Bananas In Pyjamas (1969), which later (1992) became an Australian children's television series, and for his work on Doctor Who.

Blyton, a nephew of children's author Enid Blyton, showed a talent for science from an early age, and did not switch to music until he contracted polio and, as he was recovering, began taking piano lessons in 1948 at the age of sixteen. In the 1950s he began his training as a composer and won several certificates and awards. Blyton is primarily known as a miniaturist, composing short orchestral scores for live performance. He produced some well-regarded and often humorous pieces including Return of Bulgy Gogo (a tribute to composer Peter Warlock), Up the Faringdon Road, Mock Joplin which was written for piano and saxophone, and Saxe Blue written for the same instruments.

Blyton also wrote incidental music for the BBC Doctor Who television series. Between 1970 and 1975, a period during which Dudley Simpson was the programme's usual composer, he provided three scores for the series with Doctor Who and the Silurians in 1969/70, Death to the Daleks in 1974 and finally Revenge of the Cybermen in 1975. In these scores – particularly the first and the last – he made substantial use of unusual instruments. Crumhorns were used in Doctor Who and the Silurians as a theme for the reptile men and in his final score for the series, Revenge of the Cybermen in 1975, he made use of serpents and ophicleides whenever the Cybermen appeared. In later years he became famous for his composing, and several CDs of his work were produced: notably, Sherlock Holmes meets Dr Who showcases his work for an unmade Sherlock Holmes animated series and some samples from all three of his Doctor Who stories, along with other classics such as Saxe Blue. He died in 2002 from cancer and post-polio syndrome, aged 70.

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