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Queen’s Brian May Rumored as New Host of BBC Astronomy Show

Brian May
Adam Jacobs, Getty Images

The death of beloved British television personality Sir Patrick Moore has left his long-running astronomy series, ‘The Sky at Night,’ searching for a new host — and Queen guitarist Brian May is reportedly in the running for the gig.

May, a lifelong astronomy enthusiast who completed his PhD in astrophysics five years ago, was an open admirer of Moore’s work, and had guested on ‘The Sky at Night’; in fact, it was at Moore’s suggestion that the asteroid known as “52665 Brianmay” got its name. After Moore’s death on Dec. 9 at the age of 89, it was revealed that May had purchased Moore’s home in 2008, paying above market value for the house and immediately leasing it back to him for the price of “one peppercorn if demanded” to ensure he’d be comfortable for the rest of his days.

The duo’s seemingly unlikely friendship was forged not only by their shared passion for astronomy, but a love of music — in addition to founding ‘The Sky at Night’ in 1957 and rising to prominence as one of the most respected astronomers of his generation, Moore was also a prolific composer and accomplished xylophone player.

May hasn’t commented on the rumors regarding ‘The Sky at Night,’ although he did tell the Guardian that his plans for Moore’s home remain up in the air. “It’s too early to be able to comment meaningfully on this. As Patrick’s friends, we have been discussing possible futures for some time, but until now the first priority has always been safeguarding the quality of Patrick’s life while he was alive. It will take time to assess what the possibilities now are,” he told the paper, adding, “Opening Patrick’s house to the public would probably require a major commitment from a number of people, because it’s unlikely that the government would fund such a project. We will be quietly looking at ideas in the next few weeks.”

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