Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore, 4 March 1923 - 9 December 2012.
Patrick Moore and The Sky at Night is one of those constants I remember from my youth, I may not have seen many of the shows when I was younger but it was as common as the man saying 'don't forget to turn your set off' at the end of the night. Always enthusiastic and utterly captivating as a presenter you couldn't help but be drawn into his love of astronomy. Plus he was a regular on many other shows like Morecambe & Wise, Blankety Blank or being impersonated by others picking up on his rapid speech and his eccentric manner.
About 15 years ago I had a very short telephone conversation with the man. I was working late (about 10pm) in an office on my own and the telephone rang, it was Patrick Moore wanting to speak to someone about an interview he was due to be doing with a magazine I did work for. I explained that it was the back of ten at night and the people he needed to speak to had gone home for the day. He seemed somewhat confused at the concept of people not being around at night, I guess he has spent more time up working at night than most :) So that was my brief conversation with Sir Patrick Moore, to begin he sounded more like someone pretending to be him and I thought someone was playing a trick on me but no it was indeed him.
If you live in the UK and have access to the BBCs iPlayer facility there was a couple of great shows about him on BBC4 this past Sunday night, I recommend Sir Patrick Moore: Astronomer, Broadcaster and Eccentric and Mark Lawson Talks To…
This illustration is based on a photograph of Sir Patrick Moore taken in 1984 for his Presidential Portrait of the British Astronomical Association.