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Far Side of the Moore (45 minute radio play)
• 2.15pm, Friday 21 April, BBC Radio 4 – and then available on catch up, for a month
Programme website
• You can download the script (PDF) from the BBC Radio Drama archive and there’s a link to a short clip below.

Far Side of the Moore is a really delightful, amusing and touching radio play about one particular episode in the life of Patrick Moore, which turned out to last quite a long time…

When Moore’s latest book ‘Suns, Myths and Men’ gets a terrible review from the stuffy academic Dr Henry King, Patrick is in despair and, when the phone rings, he braces himself for more bad news.

Happily (spoiler alert!) he was ‘headhunted’ by the BBC to present a programme about astronomy suitable for a non-specialist audience, and The Sky At Night remained on our screens – with Patrick as presenter – for 56 years (!).

Patrick died in December 2012 and his final episode was broadcast in January 2013 (Wikipedia has more info). The Sky At Night is still on our televisions and the 60th anniversary episode (episode 1 was broadcast in April 1957) will be shown on BBC Four, 10pm, Sunday 27 April – you can also find archive episodes on that site.

Tom Hollander portrays Patrick Moore and it’s a remarkable performance – you can hear a three minute clip from the programme here.