The Sky at Night (1957– )
Patrick Moore Outlives The Universe.
30 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
'Ere, if this is the longest-running show in the galaxy, how come there's only 2 comments?

That'll be the British again, taking their national treasures and heritage for granted.

Paddy Moore is an institution. Like David Attenborough, Bruce Forsythe, and one or two others who defy the decades; we'll only miss 'em when they're gone. Then it'll be 'do you remember so-and-so?' They were good, weren't they?' And so on.

Mr Moore has been presenting this programme from the time when I was too young to stay up and watch it. A few years passed and my parents relented. He was a handsome - if slightly quirky - fellow in those days, with a full head of thick, dark hair. The programme was - and is - fairly short, And PM compensated for this by talking very quickly. I believe he won an award for it. Once, when in full flow, he swallowed a big, juicy fly.

Now my own hair is grey and falling out and he's still at it, like some sort of Timelord.

I got into astronomy when most people didn't know what astronomy meant. It was generally perceived as a branch of the occult. The name was like 'astrology'. You spent a lot of time out at night. And you were familiar with the Zodiac. Astronomers were regarded as being a little bit peculiar. They tended to utter very strange words, that sounded like magical incantations.

Happily, the Apollo mission changed all of that.

If I have ever had a quibble with the programme, it was the lack of practical evaluation - looking at, and testing new gear, for example -in deference to concentrating upon theoretical astronomy and cosmology. Perhaps the brevity of the slot made that difficult.

Nowadays, you can hardly see the sky for light-pollution. Generations are growing-up to be denied the greatest show on earth. It's something our ancestors have taken for granted ever since the human species arose.

Patrick Moore and 'The Sky At Night' is very much a tenuous link with the past. When this programme finally succumbs to the inevitable contempt and disinterest of BBC management, the sky will become a closed book once more.

Better watch the programme while there's still time.

And write some comments too, you apathetic shower!
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