To those who’ve loved The Sky At Night programme all these years – pleas sign petition and share with your contacts.
The BBC: Please do not axe TShe Sky At Night
SIGN PETITION HERE
(Currently: 22.323 supporters | 2,677 needed
This campaign has captured the imagination of the general public in the just over 24 hours it has been running and has now been featured in the national newspapers: The Sun, Telegraph and the Daily Mail.
FAN’S FURY AT BBC THREAT TO AXE THE SKY AT NIGHT
24 September 2013 by Simon Cable
Popular astronomy programme could go just a year after Sir Patrick Moore’s death“
BBC confirmed that discussions are currently ongoing over show’s future
Monthly astronomy programme could be pulled as early as December
Sir Patrick Moore presented the show’s first episode on 24 April 1957 and continued until he died in December 2012, aged 89
The Sky at Night is facing the axe after 56 years on television and just a year after the death of Sir Patrick Moore. The popular monthly astronomy programme could even be pulled by as early as December, a decision which has caused widespread anger among viewers.
The BBC confirmed yesterday that discussions are currently ongoing over the future of the show, which is scheduled to run until the end of the year.
Sir Patrick presented the show’s first episode on 24 April 1957, and continued until 7 January 2013, when his final episode was broadcast following his death 9 December 2012 at the age of 89. He presented a total of 721 episodes, only ever missed one broadcast, in July 2004, when he was taken ill with a severe bout of food poisoning. This made it the longest-running programme with the same presenter in television history.
As well as covering general astronomical and space-related topics such as black holes and meteor showers, the programme has also covered the Apollo Moon landings of 1969 and the UK’s total solar eclipse in 1999.
Explaining the show’s enduring appeal, Moore said: ‘Astronomy’s a fascinating subject. You look up, you can’t help getting interested and it’s there. We’ve tried to bring it to the people. It’s not me, it’s the appeal of the subject.’ As well featuring many of the world’s leading astronomers, other high-profile guests have included Arthur C. Clarke, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong.
Since Sir Patrick’s death, the show has since been co-presented by cosmologists Lucie Green and Chris Lintott. In recent years, ratings for the programme hovered around the 500,000 mark.
A spokesman said last night: ‘Sky at Night is on air until the end of the year. Plans for subsequent series are being discussed.’
By last night thousands of furious fans had taken to Twitter to try and save the programme from being taken off the air. Hundreds had signed an online petition pleading with BBC bosses not to axe the long-running show.
David Smith wrote: ‘All but officially announced the BBC is cancelling The Sky at Night. Would the last non-celeb science show please turn out the lights?’
Steve Walker said: ‘The decision to axe The Sky at Night is an insult to the legacy if the program. Shame on you BBC.’ Another wrote: ‘Why would you want to scrap it, BBC? Please, please, please don’t scrap The Sky At Night. Just don’t. Please.’
The series began before the ‘space age’ – but the launch of the world’s first man-made satellite, Sputnik 1, saw interest in astronomy grow.
The BBC first commissioned the series in 1957, with senior producer Paul Johnstone choosing Moore, a well-known author of astronomy books, as his presenter. At the time he was paid 25 guineas per fifteen-minute episode. This included a £21 appearance fee and a £5 payment – £550 in today’s money – for ‘provision of materials’ including photographs and diagrams which were used in the broadcast.
Moore had been fascinated by astronomy from the age of six after picking up a book on the subject belonging to his mother. By the age of 11, Moore was elected to the British Astronomical Association – 50 years later, he would become its president. Royal Astronomical Society spokesman Peter Bond has previously told that The Sky at Night had inspired a generation of astronomers. ‘Just about everybody who’s involved with astronomy started out thanks to Patrick – he’s a kind of figurehead for astronomy in this country,’ he said. ‘I bought my first astronomy book in the 1950s and it was written by Patrick – I think The Sky At Night had just started at that time.’
THE SKY AT NIGH FACES THE AXE ONE YEAR AFTER SIR PATRICK MOORE’S DEATH
24 Sep 2013 by Rhiannon Williams
The Sky At Night could be withdrawn by the BBC by the end of the year, a decision which has sparked anger and concern among viewers.
The monthly astronomy programme was famously presented by Sir Patrick Moore from its first episode in April 1957 until January 2013, following Sir Patrick’s death in December 2012 aged 89. He presented a total of 721 episodes, missing only one filming during July 2004 after he suffered severe food poisoning. Subsequently, the show is the longest-running TV series with the same presenter in the world.
Sir Patrick reported on NASA’s Apollo moon missions during 1969 and the UK’s total solar eclipse in 1999. Scientists Lucie Green and Chris Lintott have presented the show since February.
The BBC told the Daily Mail discussions over the programme’s future are ongoing, and that it will continue to be broadcast until at least December. A BBC spokesman said last night: “The Sky At Night is on air until the end of the year. Plans for subsequent series are being discussed.”
Fans reacted angrily to the broadcasters’ announcement, with many taking to Twitter to express their disgust. one user tweeted “Please tell me it is a mistake that the #bbc is dropping #skyatnight!” [SIC], whilst another declared: “The programme which inspired many generations of astronomers, professional and amateur, must continue.”
A petition has been started on the internet in an attempt to save the show. Entitled The BBC: Please do not axe The Sky At Night, the document has attracted 1,397 signatures at the time of writing. (24 September) more
THE SKY FALLS IN ON THE SKY AT NIGHT
25 September 2013 by JEN BLACKBURN
Sir Patrick Moore
We want Moore … veteran presenter Sir Patrick
LONG-running BBC show The Sky At Night faces the axe after 56 years.
The monthly astronomy series, first shown in 1957, was hosted by telly legend Sir Patrick Moore until his death last year. Only current affairs programme Panorama has run for longer.
But its survival hangs in the balance after the Beeb refused to dismiss fears over its future. Fans have launched an online petition demanding the BBC reconsider.
Campaigners argue: “This programme may be aimed at a niche audience, but there are a lot of us here in this niche.”
A BBC spokesman said last night: “The Sky At Night is on air until the end of the year. Plans for subsequent series are being discussed.” Since February the show has been presented by scientists Lucie Green and Chris Lintott.