Astronomers tip Queen's Brian May as BBC replacement for Sir Patrick Moore

Guitarist is praised for his 'gift for communication'

Astronomers tip Queen's Brian May as BBC replacement for Sir Patrick Moore

Photo: PA

Leading academics have called for Queen guitarist Brian May to replace the late Sir Patrick Moore as presenter of the BBC show The Sky At Night.

Sir Patrick, who fronted the monthly astronomy show since its launch in 1957, passed away on December 9 aged 89. Now, a number of astronomers are calling for Moore's job on the long-running programme to be given to May, who picked up a PhD in astrophysics from London's Imperial College in 2007.

"Both of them have a terrific gift for communication... Brian is an enthusiast for astronomy," Professor David Southwood, president of the Royal Astronomical Society and a senior research investigator at Imperial College told The Daily Telegraph. "You’ve got to have a pretty strong personality to replace someone who had such a strong identity, like Patrick."

Another astronomer, Dr Richard Miles, former president of the British Astronomical Association, said May would "grow into the job if he was given a free hand". The BBC have yet to name a replacement for Moore.

May was a regular guest on The Sky At Night and collaborated with Moore on the book BANG!. On learning of Moore's passing, May commented: "It's no exaggeration to say that Patrick, in his tireless and ebullient communication of the magic of astronomy, inspired every British astronomer, amateur and professional, for half a century. Patrick will be mourned by the many to whom he was a caring uncle, and by all who loved the delightful wit and clarity of his writings, or enjoyed his fearlessly eccentric persona in public life. Patrick is irreplaceable. There will never be another Patrick Moore. But we were lucky enough to get one."

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