Sir Patrick Moore,CBE, HonFRS, FRAS
Image © BBC
I have put Sir Patrick Moore in his own section because I believe that he has done more than any other astroscientist- living or dead- to bring astronomy into, what must be, just about everyones lives in the UK and in most of the rest of the world. I know I owe much of my interest and knowledge to him and the BBC Sky at Night program.
Sir Patrick was born on the 4th March 1923 in Pinner, Middlesex and his full name is Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore. But he is known world-wide as Patrick Moore. His father, Charles, was a captain in the British Army [awarded the Militery Cross,] until he was gassed in 1917, during WW1. His mother, Gertrude, was a trained singer, but dedicated her life to her husband and Sir Patrick. When he was six months old his parents moved to Sussex; initially to Bognor Regis, but later to Selsey, where Sir Patrick lived most of his life. His youth was plaqued with heart illnesses to such an extent that he frequently was unable to attend school: so he was taught at home by his mother when he couldn't attend. During one of these periods he read a book of hers called ' The Story of the Solar System, by G.F.Chambers, published in 1898 ' and he has been hooked ever since.
Sir Patrick's main astrological passion is our Moon, to such an extent that he has become a world authority on it: his maps were used by the Soviet Union in 1959 to help them analyse and correlate the data sent back when their satellite, Lunik 3, relayed the firstever pictures from the dark side of the moon [He was presenting an episode of the Sky at Night when the first pictures were broadcast, and had the joy of seeing them live.] His maps were also very important to NASA when they were planning the Apollo Lunar landings.
But to most people he is most famous for presenting the BBC's Sky at Night program. He has presented this monthly show since it's first program back on the 26th April 1957 to the present date. The only ones he did miss presenting was the July 2004 one due to him being treated for a near-fatal food poisoning: when he had a pacemaker fitted into his heart early in 2006, he still managed to have a part in the presentation of the program.
On the 8th January 2007 the 650th edition os the Sky at Night was presented by Sir Patrick. It was also the start of the programs 50th year of broadcasting.
He has earned a place in the Guiness Book of Records as the Longest Serving Television Presenter, as well as many other accolades and awards- including a BAFTA [see below]
You can find out much more about this fantastic program and Sir Patrick by following this link BBC Sky at Night Homepage
Sir Patrick is also well-noted for his sense of humour and fun. He has frequently appeared, usually self-parodying, in programs such as the Morecambe and Wise Show; the Goodies; the radio show Just a minute; and several Royal Variety Performance Shows where he played his Xylophone for the Queen and the audience. Because of these appearances, and many others, Sir Patrick has helped destroy the public conception that Astronomy is done by stuffy, old men sitting alone in their observatories, staring through their telescopes and the stars. Sir Patrick is also famed for a fabulous April Fools's Joke back in 1976. It was announced on a Radio 2 program that the planet Pluto was going to pass behind the planet Jupiter, and that this would cause a temporay gravitational alignment. This would, in turn, reduce our own gravity- and Sir Patrick informed people that if they could jump at the exact time this alignment occured that they would "experience a temporary floating sensation." The BBC received hundreds of phone calls from delighted and grateful listeners who experienced this sensation!
Sir Patrick is also famed for his generous nature, in particular encouraging youngsters into astronomy.
This following example was relayed by a lifelong friend on Sir Patrick's autobiography dvd: Sir Patrick stopped at this friends family home one day, just in time for tea. When asked where he was going he simply said he was driving down to Penzance.
They later discovered [ not from Sir Patrick btw ]that Sir Patrick had received a letter from a young boys' mother who said the lad was seriously ill in hospital there. She said that things were "touch-and-go" whether the lad would recover, but she wondered if Sir Patrick would be kind enough to send the lad a picture postcard of himself, as the lad was a keen astronomer and admirer, and it would greatly cheer him up. But she also realised that Sir Patrick was a very busy man, and possibly even out of the country- so if he couldn't, "she well understood and it was ok."
Sir Patrick immediately went out and bought a new portable telescope; drove down to Penzance [only stopping to visit his friends family for a brief time] and went straight to the hospital. He sat on the boys bed, introduced himself with "Hello, I'm Patrick Moore:" placed the telescope down on its stand and pointing out of the nearby window. Sir Patrick said that he looked forward to hearing from the lad what he saw through it. The lad did recover, he did use the telescope- and is apparently now a famous astrophysicist!
Truely Sir Patrick is a great man.
- Born March 4th 1923 in Pinner, Middlesex. [He says he doesn't remember much about it, but he has been reliable informed he was there at the time...]
- Aged six he read his mothers' book 'The Story of the Solar System' and became hooked.
- Aged 11 he was elected to the British Astronomical Association. 50 years later- to the day! - he became its President.
- 1936: Sir Patrick had his first paper published.
- 1937: Sir Patrick became the Director of a small observatory owned by a Mr Hamley. This happened when the previous director, W.S. Franks, that sir Patrick was studying under, died suddenly. And Sir Patrick was still only at the age of 14!!
- Sir Patrick served as a Flight Navigator for the RAF's Bomber Command from 1940 to 1945, reaching the rank of Flight Lieutenant. If you do the maths, you'll see that Sir Patrick didn't quite tell the truth about his age- or his health. In fact he did another candidates written test, and that candidate did Sir Patrick's medical... They both passed with flying colours!!
- 1945: His fiancee, a nurse, was killed when a bomb fell on her ambulance in 1943. Sir Patrick has remained single ever since as "second best is no good for me"
- He was elected a Fellow of the Astronomical Society in 1945
- 1945: Sir Patrick became a teacher at Holmewood House; a prep school in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
- 1947: His father Charles died
- 1949: Sir Patricks' first book "Guide to the Moon is published. It has been republished, and revised, many times. The latest incarnation of that book 'Patrick Moore on the Moon, ISBN: 1 844 035 360, has just been published
- 26th April 1957: Sir Patrick presented the first ever Sky at Night program
- From 1965 to 1968 he was the Director of the Armagh Planetarium
- In 1982 asteroid 2602 Moore was named in his honour.
- He was knighted by the Queen in 2001
- That same year he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society
- He was awarded a BAFTA for his services to television- and Buzz Aldrin [NASA astronaut and second man to walk on the moon] flew from the USA especially to present the Award to Sir Patrick.
- He has published over 70 books-to-date. He has also written books using his pen name R.T. Fishall; these are mostly fiction or non-astronomical books.
- He is famous as a musician and composer: epsecially as a xylophonist. Sir Patrick,playing the piano, once accompanied Albert Einstein when the famous physicist played Saint-Saen's the Swan on the violin!! Sadly it wasn't recorded for posterity.
- Created the Caldwell List
- Celebrated the 650th edition of the BBC Sky at Night program on the 27th January 2007. It was also the start of the 50th year of this fabulous program.
Taken from Sir Patrick Moore's page on Wikipaedia... With full & grateful acknowledgement to its anonymous Wikipaedia author...
"Sir Patrick Moore died at his West Sussex home on 9 December 2012. Friends and members of Moore's staff released a statement:
After a short spell in hospital last week, it was determined that no further treatment would benefit him, and it was his wish to spend his last days in his own home, Farthings, where he today passed on, in the company of close friends and carers and his cat Ptolemy. Over the past few years, Patrick, an inspiration to generations of astronomers, fought his way back from many serious spells of illness and continued to work and write at a great rate, but this time his body was too weak to overcome the infection which set in a few weeks ago. He was able to perform on his world record-holding TV Programme The Sky at Night right up until the most recent episode. His executors and close friends plan to fulfil his wishes for a quiet ceremony of interment, but a farewell event is planned for what would have been his 90th birthday in March 2013.
Queen guitarist Brian May said:
Patrick was the last of a lost generation, a true gentleman, the most generous in nature that I ever knew, and an inspiration to thousands in his personal life, and to millions through his 50 years of unique broadcasting. It's no exaggeration to say that Patrick, in his tireless and ebullient communication of the magic of astronomy, inspired every British astronomer, amateur and professional, for half a century. There will never be another Patrick Moore. But we were lucky enough to get one.
British space scientist Maggie Aderin-Pocock said she was inspired to "look at the night sky" through Moore, saying
What he did was something very straightforward - he would tell us what to look for and where to look for it, which for budding astronomers everywhere is what we need - that information. But he would tell us more; he would go into depth; he would take us on a journey through space, and we can't ask for better than that really.
Director of BBC Vision, Roger Mosey, said "Patrick Moore was one of the great educators of modern television. He inspired people to study astronomy."
He was laid to rest on December 19th 2012 in Chichester, near his Selsey home."
--Goonrob --Robin Copeland (talk) 15:59, 8 January 2013 (GMT)
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For other people named Patrick Moore, see Patrick Moore (disambiguation).
Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-MooreCBEHonFRSFRAS (4 March 1923 – 9 December 2012) was an English amateur astronomer who attained prominent status in that field as a writer, researcher, radio commentator and television presenter.
Moore was President of the British Astronomical Association, co-founder and president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, author of over seventy books on astronomy, and presenter of the world's longest-running television series with the same original presenter, BBC's The Sky at Night. He became known as a specialist in Moon observation and for creating the Caldwell catalogue. Idiosyncrasies such as his rapid diction and monocle made him a popular and instantly recognisable figure on British television.
Moore was also a self-taught xylophonist, glockenspiel player and pianist, as well as an accomplished composer. He was a former amateur cricketer, golfer and chess player. In addition to many popular science books, he wrote numerous works of fiction. He was an opponent of fox hunting, an outspoken critic of the European Union, supporter of the UK Independence Party and served as chairman of the short-lived anti-immigration United Country Party. He served in the Royal Air Force during World War II; he said his fiancée died during the war and he subsequently never married or had children.
Moore was born in Pinner, Middlesex on 4 March 1923 to Capt. Charles Trachsel Caldwell-Moore MC (died 1947) and Gertrude (née White) (died 1981). His family moved to Bognor Regis, and subsequently to East Grinstead where he spent his childhood. His youth was marked by heart problems, which left him in poor health and he was educated at home by private tutors. He developed an interest in astronomy at the age of six and joined the British Astronomical Association at the age of eleven. He was invited to run a small observatory in East Grinstead at the age of 14, after his mentor – who ran the observatory – was killed in a road accident. At the age of 16 he began wearing a monocle after an oculist told him his right eye was weaker than his left. Three years later, he began wearing a full set of dentures.
During World War II, Moore joined the Home Guard in East Grinstead where his father had been elected platoon commander. Despite recounting in his autobiography that he had lied about his age to join the Royal Air Force in 1940 at age 16, records show that he enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in December 1941 at age 18 and was not called up for service until July 1942 as an Aircraftman, 2nd Class. After basic training at various RAF bases in England, he went to Canada under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and completed training at RAF Moncton in New Brunswick as a navigator and pilot. In his biography, he claims to have met Albert Einstein and Orville Wright while on leave in New York. Returning to England in June 1944, he was commissioned as a pilot officer and was posted to RAF Millom in Cumbria, where he was a navigator in the crew of a Vickers Wellington bomber, engaged in maritime patrolling and bombing missions to mainland Europe. After the end of hostilities, Moore became an adjutant and then an Area Meteorological Officer, finally demobilised in October 1945 with the rank of flying officer.
The war had a significant influence on Moore's life – he said his only romance ended when his fiancée Lorna, a nurse, was killed in London in 1943 by a bomb which struck her ambulance. Moore subsequently remarked that he never married because "there was no one else for me ... second best is no good for me ... I would have liked a wife and family, but it was not to be." In his autobiography he said that after sixty years he still thought about her, and because of her death "if I saw the entire German nation sinking into the sea, I could be relied upon to help push it down." In May 2012 he said to the Radio Times magazine, "We must take care. There may be another war. The Germans will try again, given another chance". He also said, in the same interview, that "The only good Kraut is a dead Kraut." However, some doubt has arisen over Moore's account, as researchers have been unable to identify Lorna, despite the meticulous records kept of wartime civilian casualties.
Moore said he was "exceptionally close" to his mother Gertrude, a talented artist who shared his Selsey home, which was decorated with her paintings of "bogeys" – little friendly aliens – that she produced and sent out annually as the Moores' Christmas cards. Moore wrote the foreword for his mother's 1974 book, Mrs Moore In Space.
Career in astronomy
After the war, Moore rejected a grant to study at the University of Cambridge, citing a wish to "stand on my own two feet". He wrote his first book, Guide to the Moon (later retitled Patrick Moore on the Moon) in 1952 and it was published a year later. He wrote it on a 1908 Woodstock typewriter, which he used for every book he published. He was a teacher in Woking and at Holmewood House School in Langton Green, from 1945 to 1953. His second book was a translation of a work of French astronomer Gérard de Vaucouleurs (Moore spoke fluent French). After his second original science book, Guide to the Planets, he penned his first work of fiction, The Master of the Moon, the first of numerous young adult fiction space adventure books (including the late 1970s series the Scott Saunders Space Adventure); he wrote a more adult novel and a farce titled Ancient Lights, though he did not wish either to be published.
While teaching at Holmewood he set up a 12½ inch reflector telescope at his home, which he kept into his old age. He developed a particular interest in the far side of the Moon, a small part of which is visible from Earth as a result of the Moon's libration; the Moon was his specialist subject throughout his life. He claimed to have discovered and named the Mare Orientale (Eastern Sea) in 1946, along with Hugh Percy Wilkins, though he later conceded that German astronomer Julius Heinrich Franz should be credited with the discovery. The feature had been observed several times since telescopic observations began. Moore described the short-lived glowing areas on the lunar surface, and gave them the name transient lunar phenomena in 1968.
His first television appearance was in a debate about the existence of flying saucers following a spate of reported sightings in the 1950s; Moore argued against Lord Dowding and other UFO proponents. He was invited to present a live astronomy programme and said the greatest difficulty was finding an appropriate theme tune; the opening of Jean Sibelius's Pelléas et Mélisande was chosen and used throughout the programme's existence. The programme was originally named Star Map before The Sky at Night was chosen in the Radio Times. On 24 April 1957, at 10:30 pm, Moore presented the first episode about the Comet Arend–Roland. The programme was pitched to casual viewers up to professional astronomers, in a format which remained consistent from its inception. Moore presented every monthly episode except for one in July 2004 when he suffered a near-fatal bout of food poisoning caused by eating a contaminated goose egg and was replaced for that episode by Chris Lintott. Moore appears in the Guinness World Records book as the world's longest-serving TV presenter having presented the programme since 1957. From 2004 to 2012, the programme was broadcast from Moore's home, when arthritis prevented him from travelling to the studios. Over the years he received many lucrative offers to take his programme onto other networks, but rejected them because he held a 'gentlemen's agreement' with the BBC.
A highlight of the series in 1959 was when the Russians allowed Moore to be the first Westerner to see the photographic results of the Luna 3 probe, and to show them live on air. Less successful was the transmission of the Luna 4 probe, which ran into technical difficulties and around this time Moore famously swallowed a large fly; both episodes were live and Moore had to continue regardless. He was invited to visit the Soviet Union, where he met Yuri Gagarin, the first man to journey into outer space. For the fiftieth episode of The Sky at Night, in September 1961, Moore's attempt to be the first to broadcast a live direct telescopic view of a planet resulted in another unintended 'comedy episode', as cloud obscured the sky.
In 1965, he was appointed director of the newly constructed Armagh Planetarium in Northern Ireland, a post he held until 1968. His stay outside England was short partly because of the beginning of The Troubles, a dispute Moore wanted no involvement in. He was appointed Armagh County secretary of the Scout movement, but resigned after being informed that Catholics could not be admitted. In developing the Planetarium, Moore travelled to Japan to secure a Goto Mars projector. He helped with the redevelopment of the Birr Telescope in the Republic of Ireland. He was a key figure in the development of the Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath.
In June 1968 he returned to England, settling in Selsey after resigning his post in Armagh. During the NASA Apollo programme, presenting on the Apollo 8 mission, he said that "this is one of the great moments of human history", only to have his broadcast interrupted by the children's programme Jackanory. He was a presenter for the Apollo 9 and Apollo 10 missions, and a commenter, with Cliff Michelmore and James Burke, for BBC television's coverage of the Moon landing missions. Moore could not remember his words at the "Eagle has landed" moment, and the BBC has lost the tapes of the broadcast. A homemade recording reveals that the studio team was very quiet during the landing sequence, leaving the NASA commentary clear of interruptions. Some 14 seconds after "contact" Burke says "They've touched". At 36 seconds he says "Eagle has landed". Between 53 and 62 seconds he explains the upcoming stay/no-stay decision and NASA announces the T1 stay at 90 seconds after contact. At 100 seconds the recorded sequence ends. Thus any real-time comment Moore made was not broadcast live and the recording ends before Burke polls the studio team for comment and reaction. Moore participated in TV coverage of Apollo missions12 to 17.
"Patrick was the last of a lost generation, a true gentleman, the most generous in nature that I ever knew, and an inspiration to thousands in his personal life, and to millions through his 50 years of unique broadcasting. It's no exaggeration to say that Patrick, in his tireless and ebullient communication of the magic of astronomy, inspired every British astronomer, amateur and professional, for half a century. There will never be another Patrick Moore. But we were lucky enough to get one."
He was elected a member of the International Astronomical Union in 1966; having twice edited the Union's General Assembly newsletters. He attempted to establish an International Union of Amateur Astronomers, which failed due to lack of interest. During the 1970s and 80s, he reported on the Voyager and Pioneer programs, often from NASA headquarters. At this time he became increasingly annoyed by conspiracy theorists and reporters who asked him questions such as "Why waste money on space research when there is so much to be done here?". He said that when asked these type of questions "I know that I'm dealing with an idiot." Another question that annoyed him was "what is the difference between astronomy and astrology?" Despite this he made a point of responding to all letters delivered to his house, and sent a variety of standard replies to letters asking basic questions, as well as those from conspiracy theorists, proponents of hunting and 'cranks'. Despite his fame, his telephone number was always listed in the telephone directory and he was happy to show members of the public his observatory.
He compiled the Caldwell catalogue of astronomical objects and in 1982, asteroid2602 Moore was named in his honour. In February 1986 he presented a special episode of The Sky at Night on the approach of Halley's Comet, though he later said the BBC's better-funded Horizon team "made a complete hash of the programme." In January 1998, a tornado destroyed part of Moore's garden observatory; it was subsequently rebuilt. Moore campaigned unsuccessfully against the closure of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich in 1998. Among Moore's favourite episodes of The Sky at Night were those that dealt with eclipses, and he said "there is nothing in nature to match the glory of a total eclipse of the Sun."
Moore was a BBC presenter for the total eclipse in England in 1999, though the view he and his team had from Cornwall was obscured by cloud. Moore was the patron of the South Downs Planetarium & Science Centre, which opened in 2001.
On 1 April 2007, a 50th anniversary semi-spoof edition of the programme was broadcast on BBC One, with Moore depicted as a Time Lord and featured special guests, amateur astronomers Jon Culshaw (impersonating Moore presenting the first The Sky at Night) and Brian May. On 6 May 2007, a special edition of The Sky at Night was broadcast on BBC One, to commemorate the programme's 50th anniversary, with a party in Moore's garden at Selsey, attended by amateur and professional astronomers. Moore celebrated the record-breaking 700th episode of The Sky at Night at his home in Sussex on 6 March 2011. He presented with the help of special guests Professor Brian Cox, Jon Culshaw and Lord Rees, the Astronomer Royal.
It was reported in January 2012 that because of arthritis and the effects of an old spinal injury he was no longer able to operate a telescope. However, he was still able to present The Sky at Night from his home.
He died aged 89 at 12:25 p.m. on 9 December 2012 at his home in Selsey, West Sussex.
On 9 December 2014 it was reported that the Science Museum, London had acquired a large collection of Patrick Moore's objects and manuscripts and memorabilia, including The Sky at Night scripts, and about 70 of his observation books, over more than 60 years, and manuscripts for astronomy and fiction books, and a 12.5 inch reflecting telescope.
Activism and political beliefs
Moore was known for his conservative political views. In the 1970s, he was chairman of the anti-immigration United Country Party, a position he held until the party was absorbed by the New Britain Party in 1980. He campaigned for the politician Edmund Iremonger at the 1979 general election, as they agreed the French and Germans were not to be trusted. Iremonger and Moore gave up political campaigning after deciding they were Thatcherites. Moore campaigned on behalf of Douglas Denny (UKIP) for the Chichester constituency in 2001. A Eurosceptic, he was a supporter and patron of the UK Independence Party.
Moore briefly supported the Liberal Party in the 1950s, though condemned the Liberal Democrats, saying he believed they could alter their position radically and that they "would happily join up with the BNP or the Socialist Workers Party ... if [by doing so] they could win a few extra votes." He admired the Official Monster Raving Loony Party and was briefly their financial adviser. He wrote in his autobiography that Liechtenstein – a constitutional monarchy headed by a prince – had the best political system in the world. Moore was a critic of the Iraq War, and said "the world was a safer place when Ronald Reagan was in the White House".
Proudly declaring himself to be English (rather than British) with "not the slightest wish to integrate with anybody", he stated his admiration for controversial MP Enoch Powell. Moore devoted an entire chapter ("The Weak Arm of the Law") of his autobiography to denouncing modern British society, particularly "motorist-hunting" policemen, sentencing policy, the Race Relations Act, Sex Discrimination Act and the "Thought Police/Politically Correct Brigade". He wrote that "homosexuals are mainly responsible for the spreading of AIDS (the Garden of Eden is home of Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve)".
In an interview with Radio Times, he said the BBC was being "ruined by women", commenting that: "The trouble is that the BBC now is run by women and it shows: soap operas, cooking, quizzes, kitchen-sink plays. You wouldn't have had that in the golden days." In response, a BBC spokeswoman described Moore as being one of TV's best-loved figures and remarked that his "forthright" views were "what we all love about him". During his June 2002 appearance on Room 101 he banished female newsreaders into Room 101.
"I may be accused of being a dinosaur, but I would remind you that dinosaurs ruled the Earth for a very long time."
— Moore responds to those who criticise his right-wing beliefs.
Moore cited his opposition to fox hunting, blood sports and capital punishment to rebut claims that he had ultra right-wing views. Though not a vegetarian, he held "a deep contempt for people who go out to kill merely to amuse themselves." He was an animal lover, supporting many animal welfare charities (particularly Cats Protection). He had a particular affinity for cats and stated that "a catless house is a soulless house".
Moore was opposed to astronomy being taught in schools. In an interview he said:
You see, anyone who is interested in astronomy will gravitate to it, as I did. If you start teaching it as a school subject, it's going to be taught badly, like everything else these days, and enthusiasm is going to be killed."
Other interests and popular culture
Because of his long-running television career and eccentric demeanour, Moore was widely recognised and became a popular public figure. In 1976 it was used to good effect for an April Fools' Day spoof on BBC Radio 2, when Moore announced a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event that meant that if listeners could jump at that exact moment, 9.47 a.m. they would experience a temporary sensation of weightlessness. The BBC received many telephone calls from listeners alleging they experienced the sensation. He was a key figure in the establishment of the International Birdman event in Bognor Regis, which was initially held in Selsey.
Moore appeared in other television and radio shows, including Just a Minute and, from 1992 until 1998, playing the role of GamesMaster in the television show of the same name: a character who professed to know everything there is to know about video gaming. He would issue video game challenges and answered questions on cheats and tips. The show's host, Dominik Diamond, claimed that Moore did not understand anything that he said on the show, yet managed to record his contributions in single takes.
Moore was a keen amateur actor, appearing in local plays. He appeared in self-parodying roles, in several episodes of The Goodies and on the Morecambe and Wise show, and broadcast with Kenneth Horne only a few days before Horne's death. He had a minor role in the fourth radio series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and a lead role in the Radio 1 sci-fi BBC/20th Century Fox radio play, Independence Day UK in which amongst other things, Moore fills in as a navigator. He appeared in It's a Celebrity Knockout, Blankety Blank and Face the Music. He appeared on television at least once in a film prop space suit.
He expressed appreciation for the science fiction television series Doctor Who and Star Trek, but stated that he had stopped watching when "they went PC - making women commanders, that kind of thing". Despite this he subsequently made a cameo appearance in the Doctor Who episode "The Eleventh Hour" in 2010, which was Matt Smith's debut as the Eleventh Doctor. In the 1960s, Moore had been approached by the Doctor Whostory editorGerry Davis to act as a scientific advisor on the series to help with the accuracy of stories, a position ultimately taken by Kit Pedler.
A keen amateur chess player, Moore carried a pocket set and was vice president of Sussex Junior Chess Association. In 2003, he presented Sussex Junior David Howell with the best young chess player award on Carlton Television's Britain's Brilliant Prodigies show. Moore had represented Sussex in his youth.
Moore was an enthusiastic amateur cricketer, playing for the Selsey Cricket Club well into his seventies. He played for the Lord's Taverners, a cricketing charity team, as a bowler with an unorthodox action. Though an accomplished leg spinbowler, he was a number 11 batsman and a poor fielder. The jacket notes to his book "Suns, Myths and Men" (1968) said his hobbies included "chess, which he plays with a peculiar leg-spin, and cricket." He played golf, and won a Pro-Am competition in Southampton in 1975.
Until forced to give up because of arthritis, Moore was a keen pianist and accomplished xylophone player, having first played the instrument at the age of 13. He composed a substantial corpus of works, including two operettas. Moore had a ballet, Lyra's Dream, written to his music. He performed at a Royal Command Performance, and performed a duet with Evelyn Glennie.
In 1998, as a guest on Have I Got News for You, he accompanied the show's closing theme tune on the xylophone and as a pianist, he once accompanied Albert Einstein playing The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns on the violin (no recording was made). In 1981 he performed a solo xylophone rendition of the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the U.K." in a Royal Variety Performance. He did not enjoy most popular music: when played ten modern rock songs by such artists as Hawkwind, Muse and Pink Floyd, in a 2009 interview with journalist Joel McIver, he explained, "To my ear, all these songs are universally awful."
Before encountering health problems he was an extensive traveller, and had visited all seven continents, including Antarctica; he said his favourite two countries were Iceland and Norway. On 7 March 2006 he was hospitalised and fitted with a pacemaker because of a cardiac abnormality.
He was a friend of Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May, who was an occasional guest on The Sky at Night. May bought Moore's Selsey home in 2008, leasing it back to him for a peppercorn rent the same day to provide financial security. May, Moore and Chris Lintott co-wrote a book Bang! The Complete History of the Universe. In February 2011, Moore completed (with Robin Rees and Iain Nicolson) his comprehensive Patrick Moore's Data Book of Astronomy for Cambridge University Press. In 1986 he was identified as the co-author of a book published in 1954 called Flying Saucer from Mars, attributed to Cedric Allingham, which was intended as a money-making venture and practical joke on UFO believers; Moore never admitted his involvement. He once joined the Flat Earth Society as an ironic joke.
Moore believed himself to be the only person to have met the first aviator, Orville Wright, the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, and the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong.
In March 2015, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a 45-minute play based on the life of Moore, The Far Side of the Moore by Sean Grundy, starring Tom Hollander as Moore and Patricia Hodge as his mother.
Honours and appointments
In 1945, Moore was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS), and in 1977 he was awarded the society's Jackson-Gwilt Medal. In 1968, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and promoted to a Commander of the same Order (CBE) in 1988. In 1999 he became the Honorary President of the East Sussex Astronomical Society, a position he held until his death. Moore was knighted for "services to the popularisation of science and to broadcasting" in 2001.
In 2001, he was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society (HonFRS), the only amateur astronomer ever to achieve the distinction. In June 2002, he was appointed as the Honorary Vice-President of the Society for the History of Astronomy. Also in 2002, Buzz Aldrin presented him with a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for services to television. He was patron of Torquay Boys' Grammar School in south Devon. Moore had a long association with the University of Leicester and its Department of Physics and Astronomy, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science (HonDSc) degree in 1996 and a Distinguished Honorary Fellowship in 2008, the highest award that the university can bestow.
In 2009, after saving Airdrie Public Observatory from closure in 2002, Moore accepted the position of Honorary President of Airdrie Astronomical Association, a position which he held until his death.
Moore wrote many popular books. The website Astronomy Now Online estimates that he published over a thousand books on popular science, including all known editions and reprints. From 1962 to 2011 he also edited the long running Yearbook of Astronomy, published annually; and was editor on many other science books in that period. He also wrote science fiction novels for children; and, under the pen name R T Fishall, he wrote humorous works. Therefore, the list below is not exhaustive:
Film and television appearances
|1957–2013||The Sky at Night||Himself - Presenter||721 editions, Programme 1 (24 April 1957) - Programme 721 (7 January 2013)|
|1959||Panorama||Himself||2 editions, Broadcast 5 January 1959 & 20 April 1959|
|1966||The Master (TV short)||Himself||1 edition|
|1968–69||Apollo (TV series)||Presenter||Various editions: Co-presenter (with James Burke) on series presenting BBC television's coverage of NASA's Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 missions to the Moon, broadcast between Dec 1968 and July 1969|
|1970||Score with the Scaffold||Himself||2 editions, Episode #1.7 (1970) & Episode #1.2 (1970)|
|1972||Parkinson||Himself||1 episode, Episode #2.5 (1972)|
|1973||Up Sunday||Himself||1 edition, Kohoutek: A Space Odyssey of Our Time (1973); Science documentary feature about Comet Kohoutek|
|1973||This Is Your Life||Himself||1 episode|
|1975||Goodies Rule - O.K.?||Himself||The Goodies Christmas Special 1975, one-off|
|1976||Just a Minute||Himself - Panellist||1 episode of Radio panel game (1976)|
|1971–77||The Morecambe & Wise Show||Chorus - Fred and Ginger sketch / Sky At Night Host / Himself||3 episodes, 1971 Christmas Show (1971), Episode #9.2 (1976), & 1977 Christmas Show (1977)|
|1978||Saturday Night at the Mill||Himself - Interviewee||1 episode, Episode #3.8 (1978); Guest on TV talk show|
|1979||Lennie and Jerry||Himself||1 episode, Episode #2.5 (1979)|
|1979||It's a Knockout||Himself||1 edition, It's a Celebrity Knockout (1979)|
|1973–79||Face the Music||Himself - Panellist||6 Episodes, Episode dated 14 October 1979, Episode dated 21 November 1976, Episode dated 3 December 1975, Episode dated 15 July 1974 & Episode dated 13 May 1974|
|1973–80||The Goodies||Himself||5 episodes, Animals (1980), U-Friend or UFO (1980), Punky Business (1977), Lighthouse Keeping Loonies (1975) & Invasion of the Moon Creatures (1973)|
|1979–83||Blankety Blank||Himself - Panellist||3 episodes, Episode #6.15 (1983), Episode #3.16 (1980) & Episode #2.17 (1979)|
|1979–83||Children in Need||Himself||2 episodes, Episode dated 22 November (1985) & Episode dated 25 November (1983)|
|1986||Living Proof (TV series documentary)||Himself||1 episode, Round Britain Whizz (1986)|
|1986||Television: The Magic Rectangle - An Anatomy of the TV Personality||Himself||1 episode|
|1988||Aspel & Company||Himself||1 episode, Episode #5.2 (1988)|
|1989||The Groovy Fellers||Himself||1 episode, Episode #1.6 (1989)|
|1989||The Noel Edmonds Saturday Roadshow||Himself||1 episode, Episode dated 16 September (1989)|
|1990||Sunday, Sunday||Himself - Interviewee||1 episode, Episode dated 28 October (1990)|
|2001||MasterChef||Himself||1 episode, Episode #3.2 (1992)|
|1994||Clive Anderson Talks Back||Himself||1 episode, Episode #9.3 (1994)|
|1991–95||Celebrity Squares||Himself - Panellist||2 episodes, Episode dated 7 July (1995) & Episode dated 1 January (1991)|
|1997||The Selection Box||Himself||1 episode, Dad's Army (1997)|
|1996–97||It'll Never Work?||Himself||2 episodes, Design Awards (1997) & Design Awards (1996)|
|1997||Ant & Dec Unzipped||Himself||1 episode, The Dating Agency (1997)|
|1997||The End of the Year Show||Himself||1 episode, Episode #1.3 (1997)|
|1998||GamesMaster||The Gamesmaster||126 episodes, Episode 1 (7 January 1992) - Episode 126 (3 February 1998)|
|1998||Red Dwarf A-Z (TV movie)||Himself||1 episode|
|1998||Have I Got News for You||Himself||1 episode, Episode #15.4 (1998)|
|1998||Telly Addicts||Himself||1 episode, Episode #13.14 (1998)|
|1998||McCoist and MacAulay||Himself||1 episode, Episode dated 12 November (1998)|
|1999||Original Copies (short)||Himself||1 episode|
|1999||Live & Kicking||Himself||1 episode, Episode dated 13 February (1999)|
|1999||Total Eclipse Live (TV special)||Himself||1 episode|
|1999||The 100 Greatest TV Moments||Himself||1 episode|
|2000||I Love 1970's||Himself||1 episode, I Love 1977 (2000)|
|2001||Alter Ego (TV short)||Himself||1 episode|
|2001||Our House (TV series)||Himself||1 episode, Episode #8.6 (2001)|
|1998–2002||Comedy Lab||Himself||2 episodes, The Pooters (2002) & Trigger Happy TV (1998)|
|2002||Heroes of Comedy||Himself||1 episode, Mike Yarwood (2002)|
|2002||Question Time||Himself||1 episode, Episode dated 21 March (2002)|
|2002||Room 101||Himself||1 episode, Episode #7.5 (2002)|
|2002||The Annual BARFTA Awards (TV special)||Himself||1 episode|
|2002||TV Burp||Himself||1 episode, Episode #1.6 (2002)|
|2003||The Truth Behind the Moon Landings: Stranger Than Fiction (TV documentary)||Himself||1 episode|
|2003||This Morning||Himself||1 episode, Episode dated 6 March (2003)|
|2004||This Week||Himself||1 episode, Episode dated 15 January (2004)|
|2004||The British UFO Files (TV Movie)||Himself||1 episode|
|2004||Big Brother||Himself||1 episode, Episode dated 25 July 2004|
|2005||Newsnight||Himself||1 episode, Episode dated 14 January 2005 (2005)|
|2005||Richard & Judy||Himself||1 episode, Episode dated 21 February (2005)|
|2005||Top 50 Greatest Celebrity Animals (TV documentary)||Himself||1 episode|
|2006||The Astronomical Patrick Moore (DVD autobiography)||Himself||1 episode|
|2007||We Love 'The Sky at Night' (TV documentary)||Himself||1 episode|
|2007||Countdown||Himself||1 episode, Episode #57.91 (2007)|
|2007||Time Shift (TV series documentary)||Himself||1 episode, Star Men (2007)|
|2008||Those Were the Days (TV series documentary)||Himself||1 episode, 1969 Moon Landing (2008) ... Himself|
|2008||Naming Pluto (documentary short)||Himself||1 episode|
|2009||Starhyke||The Oracle||1 episode, Kill Jill (2009)|
|2009||Chris Moyles' Quiz Night||Himself||1 episode, John Barrowman, Keith Allen and Patsy Palmer (2009)|
|2010||Doctor Who||Himself||1 episode, The Eleventh Hour (2010)|
|2010||Mad and Bad: 60 Years of Science on TV (TV documentary)||Himself||1 episode|
|2011||Destination Titan (TV documentary)||Himself||1 episode|
|2011||That Sunday Night Show||Himself||1 episode, Episode #2.1 (2011)|
|2012||Stargazing Live: Back to Earth (TV series)||Himself||3 episodes, Episode #1.3 (2012), Episode #1.2 (2012) & Episode #1.1 (2012)|
- Jack Horkheimer, host of the American astronomy show Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer
- ^ ab"MOORE, Sir Patrick (Alfred) Caldwell". Who's Who 2013. A & C Black. 2012. (subscription required)
- ^"Sir Patrick Moore dies aged 89". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- ^"BBC iPlayer - Sir Patrick Moore: Astronomer, Broadcaster and Eccentric". Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- ^"Sir Patrick Moore obituary". Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- ^Melinda C. Shepherd. "Sir Patrick Moore (British amateur astronomer, author, and television personality) dies". Britannica.com. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- ^ abMoore 2003, p. 1
- ^ abcMoore 2003, p. 4
- ^Moore, Patrick (1997). Exploring the night sky with binoculars. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 1. ISBN 1-85361-447-5.
- ^ abcMoore 2003, p. 3
- ^ abcMoore 2003, p. 12
- ^Moore 2003