Gunning's film and TV compositions have received many awards, including the 2007 BAFTA Award for Best Film Music for La Vie en Rose, as well as three additional awards for Agatha Christie's Poirot, Middlemarch, and Porterhouse Blue. He also has won three Ivor Novello Awards, for the TV miniseries Rebecca, and the film scores for Under Suspicion (1991), and Firelight (1997). His other film scores include Goodbye Gemini (1970), Hands of the Ripper (1971), Ooh... You Are Awful (1972), the film version of Man About the House (1974), In Celebration (1975), Rogue Male (1976), Charlie Muffin (1979), Rise and Fall of Idi Amin (1981), When the Whales Came (1989), Lighthouse Hill (2004) and Grace of Monaco (2014).
In the 1970s and 1980s, Gunning collaborated with rock musician Colin Blunstone and was responsible for the distinctive string arrangement on Blunstone's 1972 hit "Say You Don't Mind". He also provided the haunting string arrangements on "Won't Somebody Dance With Me", the Ivor Novello award-winning song written and performed by Lynsey De Paul.
Gunning's scores for The Big Battalions, Wild Africa, Cold Lazarus and When the Whales Came also received nominations for BAFTA and Ivor Novello Awards, and his music for the Martini advertising campaign, heard around the world for thirty years, won three Clio Awards.
In addition to performances of his television and film scores, Gunning's Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra and The Lobster have been performed at various venues including London's Southbank Centre. The Saxophone Concerto, played by John Harle with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, has been released by Sanctuary Classics, The Lobster is available on the Meridian label, and the Piano Concerto, Symphony No. 1 and Storm have been released by Albany Records. Recent works include concertos for the oboe and clarinet and the CD Skylines The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed the premiere of Symphonies No.3 and No.4, coupled with Concerto for Oboe and String Orchestra. This has been released by Chandos Records. Gunning has now completed eight symphonies.
- "Gunning: Symphonies Nos 3 and 4/ Oboe Concerto CD Notes". Chandos.net. 2009-05-01. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
- "Christopher Gunning". Christopher Gunning. 2013-01-22. Retrieved 2014-05-14.