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paul mc c

Sky at Night!

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This months programme was mindless "afternoon viewing", with about five minutes actual content. Time for a rethink on who the target audience is, and what that audience would be held by without drifting away.

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The show the month before was great, what the hell were they doing spending an entire show on a random bunch of stones arranged in a pretty pattern?

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I don't really understand the beeb's logic: If u r a regular S@N viewer this means

ur interested in astronomy so therefore you want to see some meaty astronomical

content with expert opinions thrown in, like it used to be.

now i'm all for popularising astronomy but there's only so many star parties

and telescopes for beginners segments you can televise before u start repeating yourself

and then ur going to start losing yr core audience so surely u've shot yourself in the foot?

after all they have that annual thing with Cox and O'Brian for introductory astronomy so

why not leave S@N as it was ?

Edited by tenbyfifty
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What they should have done is kept it at sir Patrick's house for a few shows ,i to think that the new crew have not yet got it right they are just not eccentric enough at all,

Paul abel should have fronted the show i have nothing against chris linnot but he does not even have the same sort of amateur out look to technical for the average joe ,never saw it sunday nor did i record it which is a first for me ,and i feel now that i am not bothered if i miss it,

they even messed with the moores moon marathon,which was,a bummer

pat

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Just watched the half hour show on BBC4 and thought they didn't know what they were trying to achieve. Was this a serious astronomy programme or a bit of light weight fluff to fill the air time. Came over as very disjointed and if there are many more like this I would think a lot of the regular viewers will be drifting away. When that happens the audience figures will be so low that the beeb will pull the show altogether.

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Just watched the half hour show on BBC4 and thought they didn't know what they were trying to achieve. Was this a serious astronomy programme or a bit of light weight fluff to fill the air time. Came over as very disjointed and if there are many more like this I would think a lot of the regular viewers will be drifting away. When that happens the audience figures will be so low that the beeb will pull the show altogether.

I watched it again tonight as the other night i got 10 mins in and switched it off,i just hope that this was a one of for the solstice they are going in the wrong direction in my eyes ,no monthly what to see guide ,no viewers images,

i hope this was just a one of they should try and get it back at Sir Patricks house or make a mock up room same as the one they had at his

rant over

pat

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The BBC are open to feedback. So any of us could always write/email suggestions. They'd probably reply with the usual "hoping to appeal to a wider audience", but it's worth a try...

I'll have a poke around on the BBC's website...

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The trouble is, it's never going to be easy (if at all possible) for them to maintain a show at the level it was before the center piece of the show was unfortunately taken away.

I like the current presenters, they are doing what they can to keep it going, it's far from easy for them really.

I just hope they stick with it, and do what they can to try and maintain an interest for the viewers out there. It would be a real shame to see any of them leave the program and let it fade into the darkness never to be seen again.

Kept at it S@N team ;) .. don't be put off!

Without the S@N team we'd be left with nothing but soap operas, unreality TV shows and multiple repeats of nothing'ness.

I watch virtually no TV these days due to their being nothing on worth watching anymore. The Sky At Night is one of VERY few programs I watch now, I really do hope you guys keep at it :)

Edited by Cath

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The trouble is, it's never going to be easy (if at all possible) for them to maintain a show at the level it was before the center piece of the show was unfortunately taken away.

I like the current presenters, they are doing what they can to keep it going, it's far from easy for them really.

I just hope they stick with it, and do what they can to try and maintain an interest for the viewers out there. It would be a real shame to see any of them leave the program and let it fade into the darkness never to be seen again.

Kept at it S@N team ;) .. don't be put off!

Without the S@N team we'd be left with nothing but soap operas, unreality TV shows and multiple repeats of nothing'ness.

I watch virtually no TV these days due to their being nothing on worth watching anymore. The Sky At Night is one of VERY few programs I watch now, I really do hope you guys keep at it :)

I agree, it needs to continue. But I do think it needs a few tweaks here and there.

I just re-watched the latest episode on iPlayer... perhaps I fell asleep the first time, because I picked up on stuff I'd missed before. And all in all, it was better than I'd originally thought...

I think all I saw of it the first time was the beginning, and the bit with the druids... and thought that was the complete show.

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I think the whole show from Stonehenge was not a good idea, there are better programs that cover the history/purpose/development of stonehenge. Will also say some worse ones.

In classic style we didn't even get a sunrise.

Maybe someone thought it was a good idea, just for the life of me I cannot why they thought it. Maybe cost as the BBC were very likely bound to have a crew there. Could have been someone thinking too light at night for real astronomy so do something different. Whatever it didn't seem to work. Cannot blame the presenters they were I guess dumped into a bit of a strange environment to comment on and present and didn't do too bad.

Difficult about the format, it has to change, quaint though it was, and I liked it, it is "old" for aspects these days. At the risk of SPM spinning in his grave a review of astronomy apps for smartphones is fairly applicable these days. Before anyone screams there is a number asking this on this forum.

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The BBC are open to feedback. So any of us could always write/email suggestions. They'd probably reply with the usual "hoping to appeal to a wider audience", but it's worth a try...

Be aware that the BBC is highly motivated to reduce complaints about programmes.

Now, there are two ways to do that - they could either make the content of the complained-about programme better or they could cancel it.

The first way is long, arduous and difficult (as they already thought the programme was good). It's also fraught with risk: that MORE people might complain about the "improvements".

The second way is simple, quick and guaranteed to work,

So, perversely, it may be that the way to ensure S@N stays on air is not to complain to the BBC about it, but to tell them how good it is ... and how it could be even better.

Remember: you can't get changes made to a programme that's been canned. The first priority is to keep it running. After that it's possible to suggest improvements - just don't complain.

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Paul abel should have fronted the show

Noooo ... Penfold as a presenter is my worst nightmare, just below Lintott ...

They should take their chance and get someone with a lot of knowledge and some presenting skill beyond that of kiddie format (none of the current presenters have that, though Pete is by far the best of the bunch).

AndyG

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Noooo ... Penfold as a presenter is my worst nightmare, just below Lintott ...

They should take their chance and get someone with a lot of knowledge and some presenting skill beyond that of kiddie format (none of the current presenters have that, though Pete is by far the best of the bunch).

AndyG

but he as the ecentric style SPM had

pat

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I watched last night and it was about as dire as I expected.

Some numpty at the beeb doesn't know real astronomy from the daily "What the stars foretell" in the garbage paper they "read"

/rant

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Hopefully just a blip, I was expecting Tony Robinson to pop up at times with his Time Team programme. Keep it astronomy please.

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I no longer watch it and that is very sad for an amateur not to want to watch such an esteemed program. I watched the first three after SPM passed away and it's not for me in the current format. It has been dumbed down far too much for amateur astronomers which must surely be its audience. Know your intended market is one of the first rules of business. Know your audience is what the BBC clearly does not know judging by recent S@N's. Sad. IMO they need to:

1. Get the presenters sorted out. What on earth is JC doing on there? What value is he meant to be adding?

2. Get a "what to see this month" slot scheduled in the program.

3. Pick a theme and stick to it from an amateur astronomy perspective and not go off meandering all over the place.

Sadly, I think S@N's days are numbered. S@N without SPM is like the band Queen without Freddie Mercury - completely untenable.

My 2 penneth FWIW

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Why is it so difficult to follow on after Sir PM? Because he was a great presenter? No. Now don't get this point wrong because it's a slightly subtle one. I'm not saying he wasn't a great presenter, I'm saying something quite different. The producers are the people who control the programme, not the pesenters, and far too much of this thread has been devoted to the totally unimportant question of the presenters. They will present what they get told to present. Let's get back to the producers. They are in a state of total confusion because, for them, it was easy to say what the programme was about when Sir PM was alive and active. For them (maybe not for us) it was about Sir PM. They wouldn't know the difference between SIr PM's Andromeda and Jamie Oliver's pizza oven. Why would they need to? Patrick Moore programmes were about Patrick Moore and Jamie Oliver programmes are about Jamie Oliver. Astronomy? Cooking? You must be joking. Nobody makes programmes about those subjects! You make programmes about presenters. Clarckson, Nigella Lawson, etc etc. The producers are totally lost because they don't know what astronomy is, who their audience is, or anything else. I strongly suspect that Sir PM used to provide this information. I think this was his (very) strong point.

What the programme needs is a strong editor, someone who says what goes into each episode and at what level. This needs to be someone who knows what is happening in astronomy, knows how to spot what is important in the breaking astronomical news. If you want the programme to be sincere this strong editor needs to be the presenter and who the hell cares if they have Nigella's assets or Jamies' smile or Brian Cox's T shirts (or, yes, Sir PM's monocle) or Clarckson's predictable polical incorrectness or whatever other media credentials. All of that is a load of bunk. Can't astronomy stand on its own two feet?

Course it can't, not in telly land. In telly land it's the face that they make the programmes about. The face says something? Fade to black. Credits.

Olly

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Olly,

The other point that doesn't seem to get mentioned much is that SPM was very, Very VERY well connected. He had the ear of the great and the good and it would be a brave <strike that: stupid> producer who crossed him. Given that S@N was a very cheap programme to make, it wasn't worth anyone's while to pick a fight that their career would inevitably lose.

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The latest show was very dumbed down, and bordering on general science show approach. Bring back the tried tested and proven approach that we once had. Leave it in the hands of chris, chris, Pete and paul. And bring back the astronomy at a level we can appreciate, not the dumbed down level, that it is slowly drifting towards

Cmon BBC you've been doing this for 58 yrs now, you know what he formula!

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Chris, Paul and Pete (with SPM) chit-chatting and chewing the astro fat was incredibly simple but just worked! Like tuning in to a pub conversation about astronomy. With the current format, trying to appeal to everyone is appealing to no-one.

My 2p.

Steve

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I have just got round to watching this months episode and I can see why it's caused so much discussion here. I was one of the disappointed viewers this month and I have to agree with those who have questioned why the tried & tested formula was changed.

Although I can see, there was an opportunity for change after the sad passing of SPM and I agree things need to move on and evolve so not to stagnate. However you don't use a sledge hammer to tap in a panel pin.

I think if they kept the old format with the odd tweak here and there, it would have been sufficient. Just enough to move forward and to allow the presenters to put their personal slant on things, without losing the content of the show or anybody being impossibly cast as a SPM replacement clone.

As for this months episode if I wanted to learn about Stonehenge I would have taken History at school. So I'll have to settle for this months astronomy fix from David Fullar at http://www.eyesonthesky.com/

(check him out each week, if you haven't heard of him or the sight. He's certainly into his hobby)

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When i started this thread i knew i wouldnt be the only one who was dissapointed at the way S@N was going,i love to see whats happening in the sky, although i probably already know already, when i was a novice it was great to see this part of the show.I also love to see other peoples gear and observatorys which used to happen a lot when SPM was at the helm in years gone past.I will still wait every month on the show coming on as i have done for as long as i can remember and hope that it gets back what is missing for me.

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Guys

Interesting thread!. For my own part I stopped watching S@N long ago way before Paddy sadly left us as I used to find it a bit upsetting watching an old hero of mine gradually decline.

On a cheerier note I suspect it was Patrick`s eccentricity and his enviable encyclopedic knowledge of the subject that kept many of us tuning in each month to S@N.

I also suspect that same eccentricity is alive and well amongst many astro socs around the country and the producers would do well to seek those out and more from the amateur community in general rather than arty farty stuff like Stonehenge and druidry (is that a word?)

Just my tuppenuth

Steve

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