We all loved this ‘loony’ eccentric!

We all loved this mad eccentric!

We all loved this mad, informative eccentric!

Patrick Moore has died, aged 89. I feel quite sad.

It probably doesn’t mean much to anyone outside the UK. Who was this person?

There are several things to say about his man, apart from the fulsome and deserved tributes he’s already receiving in the UK press.

Mr. Moore: a big, fat man, always dressed in a full, double-breasted suit and flamboyant tie or dicky-bow, usually sporting an old-fashioned monocle, has probably done more to popularise astronomy than any professional scientist ever could have (and, I’m sure, many of the real professionals would acknowledge this).

When I was a youngster, I could identify many of the constellations at night. Now, I’ve lost much of that knowledge, but would always be reminded of it by Moore’s broadcasts.

I don’t really care whether we colonise the moon (his big planetary speciality), nor would I bother to take a trip to Mars (even if I could afford it). I’ve enough trouble trying to make some sense of dear planet Earth.

So, the ‘mad astronomer’ has passed away

But, I vividly remember watching his UK TV programmes, partly amused by his appearance and ‘machine-gun’ diction, but – I always learned something new and fascinating. He managed to communicate, and infect ordinary people with, his love of his subject.

There are already some wonderful tributes online, of course, but the one I particularly liked was that of (Dr.) Brian May, a Ph.D in astrophysics and member of Queen. Oh, to be remembered with this obvious affection.[1]

May is quoted as saying:

“ … the world has lost a priceless treasure that can never be replaced” and that he had lost a “dear friend and kind of father figure”.”

I think that ’s how we all feel.

(Sir) Patrick Moore (knighted in 2003) was a superb, multi-talented character, of the old-school ‘amateur’ type, who discovered his love of astronomy at the age of 6. Plus, he was also a superb musician, who specialised in piano and – of all things – the xylophone! Try this video for proof – sadly, and surprisingly, it’s the best recorded example I can find.[2]

And, a short BBC appreciation[3], which also, co-incidentally, includes my own ‘machine-gun’ phrase.

A true British eccentric, in the best way, who gave so much to all of us, in so many ways. Gone. But not forgotten. A lovely, lovely man.

[1]: The Independent

[2] frequency.com

[3]: BBC online

Image: BBC Online

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One Response to “We all loved this ‘loony’ eccentric!”

  1. Mark R.Milan Says:

    A true loss to broadcasting in the UK. I hope the BBC continue to produce the sky at night.

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