Devizes-born composer Simon May revealed that his first attempt at writing the theme to EastEnders did not go down well.

Mr May, who was among the guests at Friday night’s live broadcast of the 25th anniversary edition of the TV soap opera, said he misconstrued guidance given to him about what was required.

He said: “I was told it was going to be a very edgy drama so I came up with a gritty piece of music that they all hated.

“It turned out they wanted something very melodic to bring people in from the kitchen or garden, so I went back to the drawing board.”

Mr May was overwhelmed by the reception he got from the cast on Friday for the filming of the live episode. He said: “There is a lovely family atmosphere on the set and everyone is so welcoming. It was a very exciting episode. Everyone watched with baited breath – you could have heard a pin drop. The actors weren’t put off by having so many people on set watching. After all, they are professionals.”

But did he believe when he wrote the most recognisable theme tune in Britain that it would still be playing on TV?

He said: “I am a lousy judge of these things. I thought Eldorado would run forever.”

Eldorado was the BBC soap set in a British ex-pat colony in Spain that was taken off after a few months because of poor audience ratings. Mr May had also written the theme for that.

Mr May is due to perform on stage in Devizes in September in a grand gala when he will perform the EastEnders theme.