Posted by Grant Privett at 21:23 on 2014 Feb 16
It isnt the BBC’s job to keep us happy. Even if the whole BAA membership and Astronomy Now readership watched every episode it wouldnt be enough people to keep the programme viable. So I cannot see them feeling any need to satisfy our wish for a speaker popular with us – and wouldnt it be fun trying to get everyone to agree on one.They are seeking to create bigger audiences from the 99.9% of the population who are not astronomers. They target people, children often, who have some casual interest in the subject and are willing to be entertained and informed for a while. This may involve less well informed presenters, snazzy graphics, some background music and what we might consider dumbing down. But that is the reality. That the old format Sky at Night lasted as long as it did was a miracle. We have enjoyed a privileged 30 years purely because Dr Moore was viewed as a great British eccentric.Were the BBC fielding a programme on stamp collecting, train spotting or gravestone rubbing that was watched by tiny audiences, we wouldnt think our licence fee was being well spent. We need to be realistic.