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Life of Brian

At the other end of the celebrity spectrum from the prematurely praised Pixie, I’d place Professor Brian Cox, chief creator and presenter of the BBC series, Wonders of the Solar System, and now Wonders of the Universe. Professor Cox looks ridiculously young to profess anything, but in fact he’s 43, has three degrees, the most recent being a PhD in high energy particle physics from the University of Manchester, where he occupies a chair. In an era of bright youngish presenters he stands out as the brightest, the brainiest and the best at managing to get his message through to people like me, who begin from a position of not knowing what the **** he’s talking about, and end enthralled, educated and enriched by the experience.

The one Black Hole in his otherwise stellar CV: he played keyboards with the band D:Ream on that questionable anthem that was seized on by Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson as New Labour’s theme tune for its 1997 election campaign. It was called ‘Things can only get better’, but if the writers could have seen the future as well as Brian they would have added the lines, ‘for a very short time and then get a bloody sight worse.’


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