No narrow street is ever knowingly left untrodden in the pursuit of Sproutological artefacts, however poorly lit, and so we now find ourselves winding nervously down one of them into the dim shadows, pausing only to remark on the lamentable chlorophyll levels of the straggly clumps of grass growing between the cobblestones, before venturing into the dank and cloying horrors of Sunday evening TV circa 1997.
“Where the Heart Is” was a post Coronation Street vehicle for the always excellent Sarah Lancashire, and for the post “Darling Buds of May” Pam Ferris. It was a sort of dose of evening sticky treacle pudding to ease the transition back into the working week and soothe the troubled souls of those of a maternal bent. As far as I know anyway, because apart from knowing it existed from trailers I never actually watched it. So I didn’t even know that Paddy had sung the theme tune until I found it in a discography.
The story goes – and I’m sure I’ve read it or heard it in an interview but I’ve completely forgotten where, any pointers gratefully accepted – that Paddy took the commission for the theme tune to do something his mother would like. You can’t really be churlish about that, but the most charitable assessment I can make of it as a song is that it’s at best a slight, throwaway, piece. He included it in the encores on the 2000 show, which I suppose was because it was the single being promoted, but a curious inclusion given “King of Rock N Roll” was left out. I’d sooner be remembered for obscure Abba references myself.
Be that as it may, ITV3 are currently repeating the series – there are about 900 of them I think, it ran for ages – and I managed to grab the opening from Episode 1 and the closing credits, including the shocking cliffhanger (courtesy of one of the most unlikely names in showbiz, Ashley Pharoah), for the enjoyment of hearing Paddy singing, and seeing his name in the credits. I don’t think the piano bit after the theme is anything to do with Paddy by the way, but you never know so I left it in.
Should you wish to have a look in more detail, it’s on the ITV Player app for those in the UK at time of posting, and full DVD sets are available in all good stockists.