We had a fantastic 50th birthday party for the Sky at Night a couple of days ago, on the actual anniversary of the first transmission. More than 250 guests turned up (Patrick was hosting an overflow party for 200 or so more yesterday!) and we filmed what felt like hundreds of interviews which you’ll get to see in the next program (broadcast May 6th), along with the best of the archive.
My favourite moments are pictured below. The first shows Patrick with his five surviving producers; from left to right Pat Owtram (9 years), Pat Wood (about 4, I think), Pieter Morpurgo (almost 20), Ian Russell (3, and the producer of the first shows I appeared on) and Jane Fletcher (5 and counting). All deserve much more credit than they get, so it was great to see them all.
The MC for the party was the astronaut Piers Sellers. I’d missed the filming for Patrick’s January interview and so it was wonderful to have a chance to talk to him (the photo below was at the end of a very long night…). Hopefully we’ll hear more from him on the programme soon.