BBC To Axe The Sky At Night?

Patrick MooreThe long-running documentary/astronomy series The Sky at Night could be axed as the BBC puts the programme under review.

Having aired since 1957 The Sky at Night is one of the longest running programmes not only on the BBC but also television itself. But the future of the documentary series looks uncertain as the BBC are reviewing the series and haven’t extended its run beyond December.

The series was presented by Sir Patrick Moore from its inception in 1957 up until his death last year. Broadcast once a month on BBC One, and BBC Four, it is currently presented by Lucie Green and Chris Lintott.

News of The Sky at Night’s possible cancellation has prompted some outcry on Twitter and the launch of an online protest which has already amassed over 2000 signatures. A spokesperson for the BBC has told The Guardian “Sky at Night is on air until the end of the year. Plans for subsequent series are being discussed.”

Although the Sky at Night does not attract a large audience many class it as firmly within the BBC’s remit to inform, educate and entertain. The series long history, having aired over 700 episodes, and having secured rare interviews with individuals such as the reclusive Neil Armstrong, make it a cult favourite.

There are few programmes still on-air that were launched in the 1950s. Notable other examples include the current affairs programme Panorama and BBC Radio 4’s rural soap opera The Archers. Songs of Praise, although launched in 1961, is another long-running continuous programme series still on-air.

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