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The Sky At Night
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New telescopes, new ideas, and new observations are changing our view of the ___________ all the time.
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It's fantastic and it's terrifying. I remember the second program we did together, this is when "The Sky At Night" was still in the studio, and we were reporting on an eclipse from Africa. But they couldn't afford to send us to Africa, so they had a live type that we hadn't seen, so we were supposed to respond to it. But the local cameraman had got a bit creative, and most of the shots were of animals, and everyone knows that the animals go to sleep during a total eclipse, because it gets dark. So we were happily talking about giraffes, and Patrick was doing his usual, "Well, you can see the animals of the bush settling down for the night as the sky darkens." Then there was a completely normal shot of an elephant walking across a field, and Patrick turns to me and says, "Chris, the elephant's not perturbed, is it?" It was a difficult moment, but once I'd overcome that, I think we worked well together. We've covered some amazing stories in the last couple of years, everything from landing on Titan to interviewing astronauts. It's been great fun.
Well, you should be asking Patrick. Patrick says the next part is the 700th program, which is a year and a half, I think away. So, we'll keep going as long as astronomy keeps going. It is an amazing time to be an astronomer. New telescopes, new ideas, and new observations are changing our view of the universe all the time. So, hopefully, we will be able to keep reporting on that as long as it happens.
I remember that extremely well. It was quite a morning. The one thing we proved on 'The Sky At Night' without any scientific doubt is that Patrick has no sense of smell, and that you should not let somebody with no sense of smell judge whether an egg is off or not. That's beyond all proof. It's an example of Patrick's commitment to the program, because we were able to wait until he was well enough to talk to us before broadcast, before the scheduled date. Anyone else in television, myself included, holding a record of being on every program would have said, "hold the transmission. Wait a couple of weeks and I will be there." The BBC were willing to do that, because it's Patrick. He just said, "No, 'The Sky At Night' goes out the first Sunday of every month. Do it." We talked about Saturn and it was a great interview. The people we talked to were amazing. There was a new probe at Saturn and we just did the program and I hope that Patrick was happy with it. It says a lot about him that he was willing. The program has to go on.
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