Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock has already presented a number of space documentaries. Credit: Chris Butler
Space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock is to be the new host of the BBC’s longest running astronomy series, The Sky At Night.
She will join existing presenter, astrophysicist Chris Lintott, when the series returns to its new half-hour slot on BBC Four in February next year.
Maggie is a research fellow at the University College London Department of Science and Technology Studies and an Honorary Research Associate in the Physics and Astronomy Department.
Her television career includes presenting BBC Two’s Do We Really Need The Moon? and Do We Really Need Satellites? as well as regular appearances on BBC One’s The One Show.
Commenting on her new role she said: “The opportunity to present The Sky At Night is like completing a circle and fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Above all, it’s a huge honour to follow in the footsteps of Patrick Moore, a passionate advocate of the wonders of the night sky.
“As a child I would beg my parents to allow me to stay up late and watch the programme.
It even inspired me to go to night school at a young age to make my own telescope mirror, which I lovingly crafted and gave me my first glimpse of the breath-taking spectacle above us.
“This enthusiasm eventually led to a degree in Physics and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and then working on the wonderful 8m Gemini telescope in Chile.
I’m so looking forward to being a part of this cherished and much loved institution.”
The Sky At Night was first broadcast on 24 April 1957 and continued to be presented by Sir Patrick Moore until his death last year, making it the longest-running programme with the same presenter in television history.
Over the last year the series has been fronted by a team of regular reporters and presenters, who will continue to appear in the future.
Maggie studied at Imperial College where she obtained her degree in Physics and her PHD in Mechancial Engineering. Since then she has spent her career leading teams creating bespoke instruments in both the industrial and academic environments.
These range from hand-held land mine detectors to an optical subsystem for the telescope which is replacing the Hubble Space Telescope.
She also heads a company responsible for engaging the public and school children with science. She was awarded an MBE in 2009 for her services to science education.