When I was very small, my Dad took me to visit Patrick Moore, in the seaside town where we were on holiday, where everyone knows where he lives. His housekeeper told us that he was about to set off for London to record a show. So we left. But then Patrick himself came running down the lane after us, calling 'wait a moment!' Very swiftly, he showed us round the telescopes of his garden, and gave me a copy of his latest book. He encouraged the young me to pursue the life of an astronomer, which I did until I stumbled at degree level and started writing instead.
This Sunday's edition shows off Patrick's sense of showmanship: John Culshaw from Dead Ringers plays the young Moore, while Brian May of Queen (a regular guest, being another astronomy student who got a bit diverted) presents an episode from fifty years in the future. I look forward to it enormously. It's him being willing to be a populariser and entertainer, combined with stunning factual work (the new Mars exploration edition a couple of months back being a great example) that's kept the show fresh for so long.
Of course, Patrick's politics were, the last time anyone heard about them, the sort of thing that one can only sigh at. But last time anyone heard about them was some time ago. And I'm one of those people who, not being a young firebrand anymore, is minded to let the old and non-pontificating off the hook.
So that's the second thing on television I'm excited about this weekend. The red button trailer for the new season of Doctor Who is on almost continual rotation in my house. 'WE ARE THE FAMILY OF BLOOD!' Ooh! I have learnt to dance to that. And my lovely scarecrows. Thank you Charles and Ed. I want action figures.
I haven't decided yet, but I may well pop along to Jeremy Bentham's launch night party in London. I'd turned down the invite a long time back, when it clashed with Caroline's Faringdon Singers concert last weekend (Rutter, and all that lovely quiet choral Lent stuff, thanks for asking), but I just realised I could go, and, hey, it'll be the start of a whole summer of seeing this show with as many people as possible. Doctor Who as a communal thing. What could be better?
Finally, a nice chap from Creative Screenwriting magazine did an interview with me a while back, and its's now online. Some of the content will be terribly familiar I'm afraid (there's a translation of 'french fries' for 'oven chips') but there's new stuff here. You can tell I can't say the words 'Human Nature' at this point:
If I'm here tomorrow night, I'll pop in to share the general squee for a great opening episode. Cheerio.