New presenter announced for The Sky At NightBookmark and Share

Thursday, 12 December 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock is to join the presenting team on The Sky At Night, it was announced today.

She will join existing presenter astrophysicist Dr Chris Lintott when the series returns in its new half-hour slot on BBC Four in February.

Dr Aderin-Pocock is a research fellow at the University College London Department of Science and Technology Studies and an honorary research associate in the Physics and Astronomy Department. Her TV career includes presenting BBC Two's Do We Really Need The Moon? and Do We Really Need Satellites? as well as regular appearances on BBC One's The One Show.

It was feared the long-running astronomy series - which began in April 1957 - would be axed after the death of its host Sir Patrick Moore last December, but it was reprieved after a massive campaign.

Commenting on her new role, she said:
The opportunity to present The Sky At Night is like completing a circle and fulfilling a lifelong dream. Above all, it's a huge honour to follow in the footsteps of Patrick Moore, a passionate advocate of the wonders of the night sky.

As a child I would beg my parents to allow me to stay up late and watch the programme. It even inspired me to go to night school at a young age to make my own telescope mirror, which I lovingly crafted and gave me my first glimpse of the breathtaking spectacle above us.

This enthusiasm eventually led to a degree in physics and a PhD in mechanical engineering and then working on the wonderful 8m Gemini telescope in Chile. I'm so looking forward to being a part of this cherished and much-loved institution.
The Sky At Night became the longest-running programme with the same presenter in television history.

Over the past year, it has been fronted by a team of regular reporter/presenters, who will continue to appear in the future.

Executive producer Jonathan Renouf said:
Maggie is a fantastic addition to this series. She is a renowned space scientist and science communicator who will bring tremendous enthusiasm and excitement to the programme. Alongside other BBC series such as Stargazing Live, I hope The Sky At Night will continue to share the wonders of the night sky with a new generation of viewers.
Cassian Harrison, the editor of BBC Four, said:
As The Sky At Night makes a new home on BBC Four I'm delighted to welcome Maggie to its roster of terrific talent. Maggie is a true evangelist of the wonders of the night sky and a passionate science communicator. She'll be an exciting presence on the team.




The Sky At Night wins reprieveBookmark and Share

Thursday, 31 October 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Record-setting astronomy TV series The Sky At Night is to continue following a campaign to save the BBC show.

However, it will lose its 20-minute slot on BBC One and will move to BBC Four, where it is currently repeated in a 30-minute format.

Following the death last year of presenter Sir Patrick Moore, it was feared that the programme - which was first broadcast on 24th April 1957 - would be axed when last month the BBC said its future was being reviewed. That sparked a massive protest, with an online petition garnering more than 52,000 signatures.

Now the BBC has announced that the monthly programme will first air on BBC Four in a half-hour slot from February 2014, with repeats on BBC Two.

Kim Shillinglaw, the head of commissioning for BBC Science and Natural History, said:
Sir Patrick Moore inspired generations of astronomers and I hope that alongside the BBC's other astronomy content, such as BBC Two's Stargazing Live, The Sky at Night will enthuse further generations about the wonder of the night sky.
Cassian Harrison, BBC Four's editor, commented:
I'm delighted that we are continuing with such a treasured BBC brand, and look forward to welcoming the programme to its new home on BBC Four, where it will join a rich mix of other science content.
Moore presented the show from its start to his death and only missed one edition in July 2004 - because of food poisoning - making it the longest-running programme with the same presenter in TV history. The series has been fronted by a team of presenters since Moore's death, including Jon Culshaw, Dr Chris Lintott, Dr Lucie Green, Dr Chris North, Dr Paul Abel, and Pete Lawrence. It is yet to be decided who will present it when it comes back.

Following the announcement of its reprieve, Culshaw tweeted:
Grand news, The Sky at Night is saved and will stay. Huge thanks to @Saveskyatnight and to everybody who signed and spoke up so passionately
The next edition will be on Monday 4th November at 12.30am (except Scotland, when it will air at 1.15am). It will be off air in January, when the slot will be taken by the BBC Two astronomy show Stargazing Live, hosted by Professor Brian Cox and Dara O Briain.




iPlayer and ITV Player coming to Sky Anytime+Bookmark and Share

Monday, 30 January 2012 - Reported by Harry Ward
Sky has announced that it is to add BBC iPlayer and ITV Player to its video on demand service Sky Anytime+. The addition will mean the content will be available to 5 million homes at no extra cost by Easter 2012.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Chief Executive, comments:
We want customers to get the best out of their Sky subscription and Anytime+ is a great way to give them more control and choice over how they enjoy TV. We already know how popular Sky+ is and how it puts customers back in charge of their TV viewing. Anytime+ builds on that control and it’s no wonder we’ve seen such strong demand for it.

Sky Anytime+ will go from strength to strength in 2012 and we are delighted that the addition of the BBC iPlayer and ITV Player will allow customers to also enjoy the best of terrestrial TV, whenever they want. We’re also delighted to be able to widen access to the service so that millions more Sky customers can enjoy the added flexibility it offers.

BBC Director-General Mark Thompson said:
Having the BBC and Sky work together to further build on the BBC iPlayer success story can only be fantastic news for audiences. Making BBC iPlayer available on all platforms is key to our commitment to universal access and this agreement takes us one step further towards that goal. I’m delighted to take this first step on a story of innovation for both organisations.







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