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MOORE3If you haven’t heard it yet, hurry off now and listen to this delicious radio play about how amateur astronomer Patrick Moore came to host the Sky at Night, the longest running programme with the same presenter in television history and – if the play is to be believed – also responsible for the programme’s title and music.

MOORE2Because of his ‘dicky ticker’, Moore was home-schooled by his mother Gertrude (played by Patricia Hodge) who also got him interested in stargazing to try to compensate for being kept at home and not allowed to play with other children.

The best of it was the comic madness engendered by the manic-rivalry- bordering-on-hatred between Moore and Dr Henry King (played by Anton Lesser). King’s poisonous phone calls to Moore, and to the BBC denouncing him, had me weeping with laughter.

Tom Hollander was superb as Moore. It’s maddening that this production will probably never make it on to TV (it would make a perfect Radio 4 film) because Tom Hollander looks nothing like – the polar opposite in fact – of Patrick Moore.

Do go and have a listen if you can – just click on the picture above. It will be on iplayer until 29th April and (hopefully) as a download soon.

Rather less hilarious was this week’s Inside Number 9. It was interesting, it was tense, it was packed with mild horror, but it wasn’t exactly a laugh a minute. The only funny thing in it was the irony of the ‘BBC Comedy’ logo at the end.

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