TV Cream

Bric-a-Brac: R is for...

Rondo Veneziano

Diddle diddle, and indeed, durr.1983, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that pop’s brief and arguably less than bountiful dalliance with classical music, which peaked with the pomp of high prog had, the ‘slight return’ of Hooked On Classics aside, more or less fiddled its last. But that was to reckon without Italian chamber orchestra Rondo Veneziano, who brought guitars and synths to the classical party for La Serenissima, a neverending ‘diddle-diddle-durr’ refrain that – hey! – put the ‘rock into ‘bar-rock’ (er, ‘baroque’). This ‘waxing’ failed to scrape the UK top 50, but that didn’t stop it being ubiquitous, via guest appearances for the Rond on the likes of Pebble Mill (in 18th century clobber and spooky silver fencing masks) and Venice in Peril, an unfathomable cartoon screened during many an ITV strike, in which a bloke in a spaceship saves the canal city from watery doom by spiriting its veteran architecture away through space. Or something. All the while going ‘diddle-diddle-durr’, natch.



  1. JackHargreavesLives

    August 14, 2009 at 11:07 am

    The faceless robot musicians were unforgettable, but then I thought they were from Once Upon A Time..Man. Thank od Creamis here to save me from such errors.

  2. Chris O

    September 19, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I can remember seeing this countless times on LWT in my youth. They might as well have renamed the channel RVTV and had done with it when it was on at its most frequent.

  3. Richard Davies

    August 10, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    La Serenissima was used for the theme of Hospital Watch, & at least 1 other programme.

    • George White

      October 22, 2021 at 9:10 am

      It’s in Lewis Gilbert’s 1985 kibbutz-com Not Quite Paradise, costarring Kevin McNally and Selina Cadell.

  4. Matty

    September 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I remember both the animated thing with the spaceship (spooky) and the Pebble Mill appearance (very very spooky). The 18th-century-garb-and-featureless-silver-heads from the latter remain the best Doctor Who villains to have never actually been in Doctor Who, although the clockwork droids from ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’ came very close.

  5. Kyrt

    June 2, 2011 at 1:37 am

    IIRC, there were two such animations. The second started off with a young boy crawling over some rubble towatch the mnusicians play.

    Of course, maybe it was an extended sequence.

  6. PhoeniX PhiL

    November 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for this.. for YEARS and YEARS I’ve been trying to find proof that I didnt dream up the “silver faced classical music robots band” from my very early childhood. I wrongly presumed they were in a Hooked On classics promo or something.

    Another vague but weird childhood memory to be crossed off next to the Lee Cooper Jeans cinema ad with teh dogs with glowing eyes and the car breaking down on the haunted road Shell Grip TV ad.

  7. Luke T

    December 11, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Me too! Exactly the same scenario as the above poster!! Thanks for providing evidence that I’m not bonkers!! (well, in this regard at least!) 🙂

  8. Will Eagle

    August 24, 2013 at 3:39 am

    Hello there

    Just spent the last few hours trying to remember Rondo Veneziano – a friend on Facebook finally figured out the answer from my series of weak, loose clues. Then I found this site and glad that I’m not the only one who had vague memories from UK TV in the 80s about this particular act.

    BUT! I have another related memory and I wondered if anyone can help.

    I’m pretty sure there was a TV show that had animated opening credits with the music of Rondo Veneziano. I feel like it was a show a bit like Hart to Hart, but, Rondo Veneziano’s IMDB says nothing. In the credits, we see the musicians and their robot faces as part of the action.

    Does anyone have any recollection of animated opening credits featuring their music?

  9. Declan McCafferty

    December 16, 2015 at 4:12 am

    I remember seeing this very early in the morning. I’m wonderingif STV used it before they opened for business. Oh, that and last thing at night over listings of the next day’s programmes.

    Venice In Trouble – book-ends to our days.

  10. David Lewis

    May 30, 2016 at 12:55 am

    HTV used the animation as a filler and also used the tune for programme menus.

  11. Tom Ronson

    April 8, 2022 at 9:50 pm

    Now upscaled to 4K from VHS for your viewing pleasure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top