Keith & Matthew Strachan

First Country

United Kingdom

First Date

September 4, 1998

Latest Country

All International Countries that have not be canceled yet. (Except U.S.)

Latest Date


Keith & Matthew Strachan are the father-son duo who composed the original Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? musical scores, including the theme song from 1998 to 2007 and again from 2018. Keith was born on January 21, 1944 in Consett, and Matthew was born on December 11, 1970 in London.

A compilation of all the Strachan themes is featured on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: The Album. A couple of the themes are also used in the Millionaire scenes of Slumdog Millionaire.

In 2007, when the 12-question format was introduced, Ramon Covalo became the new composer of the theme songs, with most of the Strachan cues being replaced, with notable exceptions being the winning and losing cues, as well as the Fastest Finger First music. Other countries use the Ramon Covalo cues while some have stuck with the Strachan cues. In 2018, the UK version of the show returned to the classic format with the Strachan musical cues and some of the Covalo cues.

In 2008, the Strachan themes were slightly remixed for the clock format on the U.S. version of the show. For example, the question music was synced to the sound of a ticking clock. The Strachan music and cues were eventually replaced altogether in favor of themes by Jeff Lippencott and Mark T. Williams in 2010 when the shuffle format was introduced. The shuffle themes continue to be used on the show to this day, even though the shuffle format was dropped in 2015. Chris Harrison has stated in a Facebook live stream on February 6, 2017 that they have been constantly thinking about bringing back the old themes, as well as the hot seat, but the reason that they have not is that it might create a more formal feel that will not work for audiences of daytime shows.[1]

Trivia Edit

  • The £500,000 win and £1,000,000 question musics were the only cues that was never heard in Ireland, Czech Republic and Finland, due to a few contestants walking away on the 14th question.
  • In the Czech version in 2000-2005...
    • ...the lose cues were push up a level. The cues were like this:
      • £100-£1,000 lose cue played on the first 6 questions.
      • £2,000 & £64,000 lose cue played for flunking out on question 7 & 12.
      • £4,000 & £125,000 lose cue played for flunking out on question 8 & 13. (twice only on question 13)
      • £8,000 & £250,000 lose cue played for flunking out on question 9 & 14. (never on question 14)
      • £16,000 & £500,000 lose cue played for flunking out on question 10 & (probably if it had happened) 15. (never on question 15)
      • £32,000 lose cue played for flunking out on question 11.
      • £1,000,000 cue was never probably been heard if someone flunking out on question 15.
    • ...after the commercial break, with the exception of the first 5 questions, the final answer cues were like this:
      • £2,000 & £64,000 final answer cue played in episodes 1-16, 18-38.
      • £32,000 & £1,000,000 final answer cue played in episodes 39-184, 364-383.
      • £4,000 & £125,000 final answer cue played in episodes 17, 185-363.
  • During the risk format, £16,000 win was high-pitched by 1 semitone when someone answers the 10th question correctly on the studio Cologne for the German, Austrian, Switzerland, and Czech versions.
  • On May 13, 2013 in Australia, the £1,000,000 lose cue was played low pitched on Kevin Short's $1,000,000 question.
  • On January 28, 2017 in Russia, the £16,000 let's play and £20,000 question (at the slightest beginning) cues are played high-pitched on contestants on the 100,000 ruble question.


  1. Chris Harrison Live Stream from Millionaire's Facebook Page (see timestamp 5:32 (-12:13))