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Simon May is best known as the composer of the East-Enders theme tune as well as Howards Way, Castaway, Animal Park and many other themes which are familiar to British TV viewers. He is also a much sought after dinner and corporate speaker.
He blends humour and anecdotes into his business speeches along with real and practical lessons about motivation, communication and team-building.
Simon won a Choral Scholarship to Cambridge University where he took a degree in modern languages. He taught German and French for 7 years at Kingston Grammar School before leaving to become a full-time composer following the commercial success of his first stage musical 'Smike' which has enjoyed thousands of performances in schools and theatre groups since being first shown on BBC TV in 1973.
In the mid seventies Simon wrote many hit songs which were featured in "Crossroads": including 'Born with a smile on my face' (a no.2 hit record for Stephanie de Sykes) 'More Than in Love' (no. 2 hit performed by Kate Robbins), Benny's Theme, Noel Gordon's hit wedding song 'We'll find our day' and in 1976 'The Summer of My Life' which Simon performed himself.
Singing on Top of the Pops was one of the "buzz moments" of his career.
In the 80's Simon enjoyed his first no. 1 hit record in the USA as co-producer of the classic "Knock on Wood" by Amii Stewart which sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
East-Enders was nominated but failed to win the coveted Ivor Novello award for best TV theme of the year in 1985. However a year later he used that disappointment to write and produce a song for Nick Berry which was featured on East-Enders and achieved the no.1 position in the UK charts.
'Every Loser Wins' sold over a million copies and received the Ivor Novello award for best selling single of 1986.
Turning failure into success is an important part of Simon's credo.
Writing the theme for Eldorado and heading a commercially unsuccessful national tour with the Simon May Orchestra provide a humorous but realistic insight into the highs and lows of a dangerous profession. The lessons learnt have many parallels between managing and conducting an Orchestra and the skills of corporate thinking and management.
Sir Cliff Richard recorded one of Simon's co-written hits 'More to Life' which featured in the BBC TV series 'Trainer'. Since then Simon and his wife Rosie have remained good friends with Sir Cliff and were honoured to join him on his 60th birthday cruise in the Med which was featured in 'OK' magazine.
Areas of Expertise
In his after lunch/dinner talks at social functions Simon talks about his career, the stories and people behind his hit songs and themes and his passionate belief that everything is possible.
Whenever appropriate, he illustrates on piano how he writes music and he also composes an impromptu theme based on the letters contained in some of his audience's Christian names!
In his corporate talks, Simon motivates his audience by taking a light-hearted look at his successes and failures and reinforces the values of persistence and determination. The message of Every Loser Wins and positive thinking is developed further.
"Being true to yourself whilst listening to others is an obvious truism, but whenever you stop doing either you are much more likely to fail.
Good old fashioned values like honesty, perseverance, teamwork and preparation will always be rewarded even if it takes time."
Communication and team-building are as important in an orchestra as they are in business. Simon uses his experience as an orchestral leader to deliver these important messages.
Simon was featured recentlyin an ITV arts documentary following a week in the life of.....and his many interviews on radio and tv have also given him an insight into how to communicate, overcome nerves and be understood by everyone.
As well as continuing to write music for television and films Simon has never left his roots as a teacher and works part time at a special needs school in Surrey
- another source of amusing but also sometimes deeply human experiences.
Simon is a passionate supporter of the Arts. He is Vice President of the British and International Federation of Festivals for Music, Dance & Speech, Director of the Classical Road Show, Patron of Devizes Junior Eisteddfod and President of the Music and Youth Theatre Company.
'The Dawning', Irish drama (Hugh Grant / Anthony Hopkins)
'Caught in the Act' (starring Sara Crowe & Leslie Phillips)
"I'm In Love"sung by Ruby Turner from The Jewel of the Nile
William Shatner's 'A Twist In The Tale'
'Return To Treasure Island '
Swiss Family Robinson (CLT/Disney Channel)
Adventures of Enid Blyton (Channel 5)
Secrets of Enid Blyton (Channel 5)
William Tell (Channel 5)
Wild in Africa (BBC1/Endemol)
Garden Invaders (BBC1/Endemol)
Tell it to me straight (Channel 4/Topical TV)
Food & Drink (BBC2/Bazal)
Holiday Programme (BBC1)
Don't Try This At Home (LWT)
Pet Rescue (Channel 4/Endemol )
The Tribe (Channel 5)
Brat Camp (Channel 4/Twenty Twenty TV)
Castaway 2000 and 2007 (BBC1/Lion TV)
City Hospital (BBC 1/Topical TV)
Dealing With Dickinson (BBC 1/Twenty Twenty TV)
I Know What You Ate Last Summer (Ch 5 / 2020 TV)
The Search (BBC1)
Great Estates (Channel 4/Endemol)
Jobs For The Girls (BBC1)
Lion Country (BBC1/Endemol)
The Vet (BBC1)
Animal SOS (Carlton/Bazal)
Body Spies (BBC1/Bazal)
Hampton Court (Channel 4/Endemol)
Seaworld (Channel 5)
Always There - Marti Webb
Anyone Can Fall In Love - Anita Dobson
Born With A Smile On My Face - Stephanie de Sykes
Every Loser Wins - Nick Berry (no. 1 U.K. Charts)
Howards' Way - Simon May Orchestra
I'm In Love - Ruby Turner
More Than In Love - Kate Robbins
More To Life - Cliff Richard
Summer Of My Life - Simon May