TV and Radio

Television

General

  • Christmas Eve BBC News (December 24th 2019): interviewed on Christmas Eve on BBC News Channel discussing research by University of Leicester physics students, which calculated that a home would need to be decorated with 2638 Christmas lights in order to be seen from space. The story was also featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 6, and US radio program “The World,” and was syndicated across local BBC radio stations across the UK. The Sunday Telegraph ran the story on page 2 on 22nd December. Reach figures are estimated in excess of 112 million.
  • BBC The Planets (October 24th 2018): Three hours of filming in Knoxville Tennessee on all four giant planets, preparing a BBC/Nova documentary series all about the Solar System, called The Planets. Appeared briefly at the end of episode 5 (Into the Darkness), but more prominently in the international version. Provided consultation for BBC researchers from July-October 2018 for the full show.
  • Child Genius - Channel 4 (June 2018): Provided consultation to Wall-to-Wall media in their preparation for a Cassini-Huygens round in the final episode of Child Genius. Sadly the material was never used on screen.
  • Interview with BBC East Midlands to mark the end of the Cassini mission.
  • BBC News Live (July 2016): Live TV appearances on BBC Breakfast, BBC News at Five, BBC World News; live radio interviews on BBC Manchester, BBC Leicester, BBC World Service; interviews by local newspapers to cover Juno’s arrival at Jupiter.

Sky at Night

  • August 2021: Invited to the National Space Centre to discuss five years of Juno discoveries with Chris Lintott, alongside my Leicester colleagues Jon Nichols and Emma Bunce.

  • November 2020: Interview with Maggie about ESA’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission, as part of their programme on the consequences of the Venusian phosphine discovery.

  • September 2019: Invited to participate in the first ever Sky at Night “Question Time”, held at the Warwick Arts Centre. Hosted by Dallas Campbell, with myself, Chris Lintott, Pete Lawrence, Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Farzana Meru answering questions from a live audience.

  • May 2018: Interviewed at the Royal Astronomical Society, providing an update on the latest discoveries from NASA’s Juno mission. This was my tenth appearance on the Sky at Night.

  • September 2017: Interviewed at Mullard Space Science Laboratory to mark the end of the Cassini mission at Saturn:

  • December 2016: Travelled to Green College Oxford to film in the Radcliffe Observatory for the Sky at Night Review of 2016, updating the audience on Juno’s exploration of Jupiter.

  • June 2016: Juno’s Mission to Jupiter: Travelled to the Diamond Light Source in Didcot, Oxfordshire to use the large video wall in an interview about the Juno mission.

  • September 2014: filmed at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. Maggie Aderin-Pocock interviewed me about future exploration of the Ice Giants of our solar system. Aired on October 12th 2014

  • January 2014: Invited for an interview in the ‘first episode of season two’ of the Sky at Night, now presented by Chris Lintott and Maggie Aderin-Pocock. The episode was filmed at the Royal Observatory Greenwich on January 27th 2014, and I was speaking about the discovery of plumes of water vapour on Europa. Full details here.

  • May 2013: Storm Chasing: My fourth appearance on the Sky at Night took me to the Space Applications Catapult near the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, using their huge visualisation wall to describe some of our latest Cassini discoveries related to Saturn’s storms.

  • May 2012: JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE): Filming for my third appearance on the BBC Sky at Night, this time with Michele Dougherty to talk about the new European mission to Jupiter (May 18th 2012).

  • December 2011: Recorded a 30-minute BBC show on the ‘Outer Limits’, discussing the Ice Giants and Kuiper Belt of our solar system. The show went out in December 2011, and might still be seen on the BBC iPlayer.

  • September 2010: Events on Jupiter. My first appearance on the BBC show alongside John Rogers, and my first opportunity to meet Sir Patrick Moore.

Radio

  • BBC Radio Cardiff Science Cafe (September 3rd 2020): Recorded a short interview on planetary weather and Jupiter for BBC Radio Wales.
  • Juno’s GRS Encounter (July 11th 2017): Radio Interviews with BBC Radio Kent (Drivetime, 17:30) and BBC Radio Scotland (Good Morning Scotland, 06:05).
  • Austria’s Radio 4: Reality Check: A 10-minute radio interview about why we should be returning to the ice giants, to be aired in September 2014. The interview can be found here.
  • Radio Interviews Associated with the selection of JUICE for Jupiter: BBC Radio Oxford Drive Time, Jack FM (May 2nd 2012).

Podcasts

  • Sky at Night Podcast (October 14th 2022): Interview at the International Astronomy Show, Warwick.
  • Pythagoras’ Trousers (May 1st 2020): Podcast for Pythagoras Trousers on the legacy of the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • ITN Podcast on Exoplanets (commissioned by audible.com) - recorded in Leicester on October 10th 2019.
  • Space Boffins: recorded a discussion of future missions to the Ice Giants at the UK Space Conference, September 25th 2019.
  • Space is the Place (November 2017): Visited HM Prison Leicester to record four radio shows about space, to be broadcast across National Prison Radio. Four programmes were recorded back to back with Q&A from an audience of the prison residents, covering topics such as Observing the Universe, Life in Space, The Earth from Space, and the UK Space Agency. An article from Prison Radio can be found here. This was funded by a £9000 UKSA grant to HMP Leicester Library, working with the National Space Centre and National Prison Radio, to make at least four radio programmes (15-min each) on inspirational subjects related to space, including the UK in Space. Made with prisoners and experts, together with Robin Ince, host of Radio4’s Infinite Monkey Cage, and broadcast over NPR’s 247 network, they will reach thousands of prisoners of all ages and gender in UK prisons and YOIs.
  • Pythagoras’ Trousers (May 31st 2017): Podcast for Pythagoras Trousers on the finale of the Cassini mission.
  • Pythagoras Trousers and Radio Cardiff (July 28th 2016): Podcast for Pythagoras Trousers on the start of the Juno mission.
  • Pythagoras Trousers Radio Show for Radio Cardiff (August 2013): A show about exploring the solar system presented by Dr. Chris North, with interviews from myself, Emily Lakdawalla (Planetary Society), Meg Schwamb and Pete Lawrence.
  • Naked Astronomy: The Giant Planets (June 2013) - A series of interviews with Dominic Ford of ‘The Naked Scientists’ for their show on giant planets, featuring John Rogers and I. Specifically you can find me talking about ‘The Weather on Giant Planets’ and Future Missions to the Giant Planets
  • Pythagoras Trousers Radio Show for Radio Cardiff: A ten-minute interview on planetary exploration with Dr. Chris North. May 1st 2012

Miscellany

  • National Space Centre Gas Giants week during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, recording videos on Leicester’s exploration of Jupiter and Saturn:

  • Movie Making for University College Oxford (April 2012): A morning of filming to advertise my research and Oxford physics themes. To watch the finished product, see below:

  • Nantes University Outreach Videos (October 2011): Recording movies about Saturn’s extreme weather for the University of Nantes undergraduate students.

  • National Astronomy Meeting (April 2011): Video interviews with Astronomy Now about Saturn’s extreme weather, catch it below:

  • Hubble: Galaxies across Space and Time (2003): A 10-week internship at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, working on a large format movie of the Hubble Deep Field Survey. You can find out more by reading the news release.

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Leigh Fletcher
Professor of Planetary Science