We started as a group of Open University students, who were made aware that the BBC was planning to cancel The Sky At Night. This is something to which we strongly object. Since starting the campaign to save S@N, the BBC has stated that it is still in discussions about the future of the programme.
We are also concerned that once (if) the programme is brought back, its format will have been detrimentally changed. We want to see it continue in much the same way as it always has: pitched in a scientific manner towards people who are knowledgeable on the subject, whilst retaining its accessibility for newcomers to the hobby with items aimed at them. We believe that it should be presented by professional scientists and/or highly regarded amateurs, bringing the latest news and information on the subject to the people who want it. We do not want to see it fronted by a generic television presenter, or a ‘celebrity’ with no connection to the hobby. It is a specialist, scientific programme and should be treated as such and with respect to its origins and longevity.
The BBC, as a public service broadcaster, has a remit to provide educational programming and programming for minority audiences. It is on this basis that they collect the licence fee from the British public and we feel that no programme can claim to fill this remit more strongly than The Sky At Night. Many of today’s scientists and academics state that their enthusiasm for their subject was inspired by this programme, again what other programmes can boast that?
This campaign has captured the imagination of the general public in the just over 24 hours it has been running and has now been featured in the national newspapers: The Sun, Telegraph and the Daily Mail.
For more information, join the Facebook group for the campaign.
And twitter posts are using the hashtag #saveskyatnight