Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Patrick Moore Playing The Xylophone

The Sky At Night, BBC television's astronomy programme, was first broadcast in 1957 and has appeared once a month ever since. This makes it the longest running television show on the planet with the same presenter, every single episode (bar one) has been hosted by Sir Patrick Moore.

Moore's persona is a large part of the appeal of the programme. A man of increasing bulk (he appears to have his own gravitational field) he fills the screen with his cantankerous, eccentric and be-monocled frame. His is a hefty and domineering presence.

But put two lollipop-shaped sticks in his hand (the proper name is mallets) and he is transformed into a twinkle-toed musical maestro. Fleet of foot and dainty of finger he can coax The Flight Of The Bumblebee out of a row of wooden blocks and bring a smile to the face of even the most curmudgeonly of onlookers.

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