Jim Parker Dies: 'House of Cards' & 'Midsome Murders' Composer Was 88


Jim Parker, a four-time BAFTA-winning composer whose credits included the original House of Cards and Midsomer Murders, has died aged 88 after a long illness.

Parker’s daughter Claire Parker issued a statement earlier today confirming the news and paying tribute.

“He wore his talent lightly and had a quiet passion and great sense of humour,” she said. “His ambition was, first and foremost, for audiences to enjoy his music. He was both well-respected and well-liked within the music and television industry, writing so many memorable theme tunes, and always giving 100% commitment.”

Born in Hartlepool in 1934, Parker started his career in a Britsh army band. He subsequently composed the music for Banana Blush, an album he made in 1974 with the poet John Betjeman, before turning to TV.

Parker composed the likes of the original UK version of House of Cards and Midsomer Murders. He won four BAFTAS, one for the second House of Cards and then three consecutively for The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders, The History of Tom Jones, and A Rather English Marriage.

The awards make him one of the most decorated UK TV composers of all time, with BAFTA calling him “one of Britain’s best-loved TV composers” in a tweet.

Michele Buck, who runs Midsomer Murders indie Company Pictures, added: “Jim Parker’s witty music plays a key part in the success and longevity of Midsomer Murders. I was lucky to work with Jim for two years – he was a true professional, so incredibly talented and such a charming man. The whole Midsomer team will miss him.”

We are saddened to learn that BAFTA-winning composer, Jim Parker has died aged 88. Over the course of his 60-year career in music, Parker became one of Britain's best-loved TV composers, writing scores for a string of hit programmes including House of Cards and Midsomer Murders. pic.twitter.com/qR9GV5XlXj

— BAFTA (@BAFTA) July 31, 2023

Parker is survived by his wife of 54 years, Pauline Parker, and their two daughters, along with a daughter from an earlier marriage.