×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Brit TV astronomer Moore dies

He hosted 'Sky at Night' for 50 years

Britain’s iconic TV astronomer Patrick Moore died Sunday of natural causes at his home in Selsey, West Sussex, England. He was 89.

Moore presented the BBC show “The Sky at Night” for over 50 years, which made him the longest-running host of the same TV show of all time. He missed only one episode when he was ill due to a bout of food poisoning.

Moore was a prolific writer on astronomy whose research was used by both the U.S. and the Soviet Union in their space programs.

An archetypal British eccentric who wore a monocle onscreen, Moore looked like Hollywood’s idea of the nutty professor. However, his obvious love for his subject inspired amateur astronomers of several generations to take up stargazing.

Onscreen his energy and enthusiasm for astronomy, delivered at breakneck speed, broadened his appeal beyond those with knowledge of the subject.

Moore was the voice of the space age in the U.K. as the first astronauts in the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. were launched into orbit. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were both guests on his show.

Moore fronted the first edition of “The Sky at Night” in April 1957. His final appearance was screened by the BBC last week.

Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore was born at Pinner, Middlesex, England. A weak heart meant he spent much of his childhood being educated at home. He became a voracious reader, and a book given to him by his mother, G.F. Chambers’ “The Story of the Solar System,” was the stepping stone to his lifelong love of astronomy.

He was due to attend Cambridge U. but Moore’s academic career was derailed by WWII. Moore lied about his age and joined the Royal Air Force at 16, serving as a navigator with Bomber Command.

He received many honors during his lengthy career. In 1968, he was appointed OBE and promoted to CBE in 1988. In 2001, he was knighted for “services to the popularization of science and to broadcasting.”

In the same year, he was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society, the only amateur astronomer ever to achieve this distinction.

In 2002, Aldrin presented Moore with a BAFTA for services to television.

Moore never married. His fiancee, Lorna, was killed during the war after an ambulance she was driving was hit by a bomb.

More Scene

  • Donald Trump Chucky Childs Play

    'Child's Play' Stars on New Chucky's 'Creepy' Resemblance to Donald Trump

    At Wednesday night’s world premiere of the “Child’s Play” remake, it was obvious that evil doll Chucky — the star of seven films over three decades — had a little work done. And now he bears a striking resemblance to Donald Trump. “Oh, you caught that?” Aubrey Plaza asked Variety on the black carpet outside [...]

  • Cara Delevingne attends The Trevor Project's

    Cara Delevingne Recalls Producers Saying That Being Queer Will Hurt Her Career

    Hollywood may be celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month with displays of the rainbow flag and lots of talk about supporting diversity and inclusion, but Cara Delevingne says there’s still work to be done. “Behind closed doors, we are still being told, as I have, by powerful Hollywood producers that we can’t make it if we’re queer,” [...]

  • Kiernan Shipka and Ross LynchMTV Movie

    MTV Movie & TV Awards: What You Didn't See on TV

    Many of the biggest stars in movies and television — including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jada Pinkett Smith, Kiernan Shipka, Sandra Bullock, Tessa Thompson and Brie Larson — came together to present and receive honors at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards, hosted by “Shazam!” star Zachary Levi. And while non-attendees are able to enjoy [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content