This blog does not really venture into the world of obituaries, but today there will be an exception, for Sir Patrick Moore, a man who helped to inspire generations of would-be astronomers to look up to the skies, and to take an active interest in the world of science in general, passed away shortly after midday. It was only earlier this week that he graced our screens on The Sky at Night, a programme of which he had been the host since its inception in 1957, almost six months before Sputnik inaugurated the Space Age. Would Moore have thought, that at the relatively youthful age of 34 he would still be presenting the show right up until his death some 55 years later at the age of 89? No other television programme around the globe has possessed the same presenter for such a long period.
Sir Patrick was renowned for his mild eccentricity as exemplified in his wearing of a monocle, and to a lesser extent, his virtuoso xylophone playing. He was also a politically active man over many decades, and the views that he held were very much unlike those of a stereotypical BBC presenter. Whilst, as might be expected of many a BBC host, he was an opponent of fox hunting and blood sports in general, he was also a strong Eurosceptic and an admirer of Enoch Powell. In the 1970s, he held a staunch anti-immigration position, and was Chairman of an entity named the United Country Party before its merger with the New Britain Party. Later, he was to become a keen advocate and patron of UKIP. Sir Patrick was refreshingly out of kilter with the BBC mainstream, and was a man who spoke his mind. His presence will be missed. Who, if anyone, will now take on the mantle of the BBC's elderly champion of non-PC attitudes?
Very sad news.A great Englishman and as you mention a champion for "animal rights". This goes to show that compassion for other species on this planet does not necessarily make you a lefty multi-culti loving PC automaton. The anti jihad movement needs to realise this, and that a number of us that have woken up to Islam and are concerned about massive 3rd world immigration are also passionate about animal welfare issues including (but not exclusively)ritual slaughter. Hopefully the "new party" will take this on board when drafting its manifesto. There are a lot of potential allies out there and it is quite irritating to see sniping about "animal rights activists" on some of the anti-jihad blogs.
Yes, the lack of respect for animal welfare is something that feeds my dislike of Islam, although of course such disregard is very far from unique to that religion. You just have to look at the manner in which animals are treated in many Asian cultures, and indeed, at the lower standard of welfare in farming closer to home on the continent. The manifesto will certainly include commitments to animal welfare.
As a child, I enjoyed the Sky at Night during the late '70s. I was a young child at the time of the Monn Landings, part of an era.
If I remember correctly, Moore rebelled against all the global warming rubbish, along with the likes of David Bellamy.
Fortunately, they were towards the end of their career and had earnt their money, and so couldn't be hunted down by the Lefties.
Thanks for reminding me about David Bellamy RH. It’s a long time since we saw him on our screens. Like Moore, he was a great populariser, but in the sphere of botany of course. It is a shame that he no longer appears on television.Delete
Nice notes and indeed a sad day -ReplyDelete
I'm not sure how keen Moore was on David Bowie SRB!Delete
he really was unique.ReplyDelete
i remember him and James Burke presenting shows about the Apollo moon shots.
the BBC just got a lot blander.
Ah, James Burke! Like Bellamy, a man who has not appeared on television for a very long time, although I did enjoy his series in the late 1970s and 1980s.Delete