TV’s top physicist, ex-member of D:Ream

The first song I remember hearing

Pinky And Perky – ‘Yellow Submarine’

“My grandad had a radiogram, which is one of those big wooden kind of things that was a record player but also had a radio. We always used to play seven-inch and 12-inch records on it, so they would’ve bought me it as a seven-inch single. It would’ve been at my grandparents [where I first heard it].”

PINKY AND PERKY – Yellow Submarine – 1968

Anyone for a bacon sub?

My favourite song about science

Dinah Washington – ‘Destination Moon’

“I love those songs, from the early ’60s mainly, when the Apollo moon landing is being talked about. There are so many songs like that – ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ by Frank Sinatra and after that there was ‘Rocket Man’ by Elton John and ‘Space Oddity’ by David Bowie. It was in the culture for about 10 years, all the way through that transition from ’50s American music. It was about exploration, going to the moon and going into space, but I love it because it’s so of its time. Dinah Washington is a brilliant singer, but it’s just got that ’60s swing to it as well. I think it’s a great, optimistic song.”

Dinah Washington – Destination Moon

Track 19 from Ultra-Lounge, Vol. 15: Wild, Cool & Swingin’ Too!

The first song I fell in love with

Rodgers And Hammerstein – ‘Oklahoma!’

“I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ down the road. [My grandad] liked musicals, so he had big, weighty vinyl recordings of mainly Rodgers and Hammerstein. I don’t know what it was about ‘Oklahoma’ that appealed to me. I think it’s just one of those things that really appeals to kids.”

Oklahoma! Rodgers and Hammerstein

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! title theme

 

The song that makes me want to dance

Alien Sex Fiend – ‘Dead And Buried’

“By the time I got to the age of about 16 or 17, I started going to clubs. I was a goth by that point, so I’d gone through my New Romantic phase. There was a great, great place called Affleck’s Palace in Manchester. You basically walked backwards and forwards in second-hand overcoats and black boots, feeling alienated.”

Alien Sex Fiend – Dead and Buried

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The song I can’t get out of my head

Eric Idle – ‘Theme For The Infinite Monkey Cage’

“I don’t know why [Eric] decided to write the theme song for it, but he just kind of came up with this George Formby riff and I loved it. So Jeff Lynne then said: ‘Well,

I’ll produce it.’ Jeff also played ukulele and sang backing vocals. It’s still in my head because we’re writing a musical called The Entire Universe (Based On A True Story) as a BBC Christmas special and the song is in that. I’m in rehearsals for it at the moment and it’s still going round and round in my head. He writes catchy songs.”

Eric Idle – The Infinite Monkey Cage

@EricIdle Spent Monday with the amazing Jeff Lynne recording a song for @ProfBrianCox – no wonder he’s my favourite Brummie. What a guy. 16 Apr 14 The song is written and performed by Eric Idle. Jeff produced the session (recorded it) and plays ukulele, bass and drums.(Info provided by Lynn)

The song I want played at my funeral

Alien Sex Fiend – ‘Dead And Buried’

“I want my funeral to be sort of gothic-themed. I’d just go through the back catalogue of Bauhaus and a bit of Sisters Of Mercy.”

Alien Sex Fiend – Dead and Buried

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