Brian May: Don’t mess with The Sky At Night


1 November 2013 – Day & Night

THE SKY AT NIGHT may have been saved but Brian May has urged the BBC not to mess with the “magic” that made his late friend Sir Patrick Moore’s show so special now it is being shunted to BBC Four.

Brian May amont the skeletons
Brian May was speaking at the launch of new book Diableries [ILPO MUSTO/REX]

The BBC One programme, first broadcast in 1957, was threatened with the chop after Sir Patrick died last December. Thanks to a petition signed by 52,000 people and supported by astrophysicist, Queen guitarist and Sky At Night regular guest Brian, it will move to a new half-hour slot on BBC Four from February, with repeats on BBC Two.

Brian won’t be presenting the new series of The Sky At Night

“It is meant to be intimate and it should stay that way because it is timeless.” Brian May

Speaking at the launch of his new book Diableries: Stereoscopic Adventures In Hell, Brian told us: “It is meant to be intimate and it should stay that way because it is timeless. It’s a great format that Patrick pioneered and I think by and large it should stay that way. Just a tiny little bit of rejigging would make it different enough for the BBC to feel that they had moved on but also not lose its original magic, which is very important. It is not one of these flashy, very fast-edited, high-tech things at all.”

Brian May
Brian May is a vocal opponent of the badger culls [MATT CARDY/GETTY IMAGES]

Sadly the 66-year-old has ruled himself out as a presenter: “I’ve been a friend of the series for a long time and I’ve made the occasional appearance but I don’t think it would be right for me to be part of the regular team.”

Brian’s spooky book of diableries – satirical French 3D depictions of hell from the 1860s – is the result of a long-held dream: “I spent all the Queen touring days looking for them – I found them in all sorts of remote corners of the world.”