TV composer Ronnie Hazlehurst dies at 79

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LONDON, Oct 2 (Reuters) Composer Ronnie Hazlehurst, who wrote the theme tunes to ''Are You Being Served?'', ''Blankety Blank'' and ''Last Of The Summer Wine'', has died aged 79, the BBC said today.

During a career spanning more than 40 years, he composed the music for some of the BBC's most popular shows.

His name appeared on the credits of ''To The Manor Born'', ''The Two Ronnies'', ''Yes, Minister'' and ''Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em''.

''Ronnie was the composer of many of the best-loved signature tunes of the last 40 years of television and some of his work is still heard today,'' said BBC Executive Producer Jon Plowman.

Hazlehurst died in hospital on the Channel Islands after suffering a stroke. His partner Jean Fitzgerald told the BBC: ''He was just a perfectionist in his profession and a very kind and generous man.'' Born and educated in Cheshire, he began his career as a professional trumpet player before working as an arranger, conductor and composer for the BBC.

He conducted several Royal Variety Performances and was the musical director at three Eurovision Song Contests.

REUTERS AR PM1810

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