Mike O'Donnell (born 10th March 1952) was the co-music composer for Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, from its debut in 1984 until 2003. He was also the music composer for TUGS.

Mike, a bass guitarist and vocalist, worked at the Beatles' "Apple Studios", where his love for music grew stronger after some memorable sessions with several famous singers. He also joined a band, Gold, who, despite having few hits, sold a number of singles such as "Stay with Me My Love" and "Paradise".

At some point Mike and Junior Campbell signed to the same publisher and their partnership sparked. They have collaborated on writing television jingles, which continued even after leaving their bands.

The two have composed many songs for the show like Thomas' Anthem, Really Useful Engine, It's Great to be an Engine, Accidents will Happen, Every Cloud has a Silver Lining and Down by the Docks.

Mike lives in Surrey with his wife Barbera, daughter Sian and son Ben.


Series 3

Series 4

Series 5

Series 6

Series 7


  • According to a Tweet from Mike, he and Junior composed the music with Proteus 1 and 2xr, and 2000 modules, Prophet 2000 Sampler, Yamaha rx5 Drum module, Yamaha Grand Piano, and Rickenbacker Bass Guitar to compose Series 1 all the way to Series 7. 
  • Mike O'Donnell has said that he does not have a favourite song from the show due to each song having their own sense of charm.
  • In his youth, Mike was brought up on his favourite American cartoons Tom and Jerry and The Flintstones, as well as Harman and Ising.
  • In real life, Mike does not know how to read sheet music.
  • Both Mike and Junior had started coming up with music ideas for the eighth series, before it was revealed they were not to return.
  • Sometimes on his YouTube channel, Mike releases re-recordings of certain characters' themes or songs. Gordon's original theme is an example of this.
  • He used the beat for Mean Mr. Mustard by the Beatles as an inspiration for the original theme tune in hopes of having Ringo Starr sing an extended near-three minute rendition with lyrics.
  • Contrary to popular belief, he and Junior did not compose the jingle for The Britt Allcroft Company logo.



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