Sunday 25 February 2018

Comedian Neil Delamere to celebrate Armagh scientist's world famous discovery in new show

Neil Delamere
Neil Delamere
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Irish comedian Neil Delamere will host a new 10-part science comedy show, Eureka, for RTE which aims to educate and inform on the world's biggest scientific discoveries.

Among the scientists celebrated in the course of the series is Armagh-born scientist Dame (Susan) Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s breakthrough discovery of pulsars in 1967.

“Before I became a comedian I studied computer science in university and I love science, facts and history," says Delamere.

"It’s been a huge thrill for me to delve into the world of science for Eureka and to highlight the wonderful input of Irish scientists in world science and discovery."

The series will highlight the work of Northern Ireland astrophysicist Dame (Susan) Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who was born and raised near Lurgan in 1943.

Her father was an architect who helped design the Armagh Planetarium and young Jocelyn soon discovered his books on astronomy.

Bell Burnell attended Lurgan College where she, like the other girls, was not allowed to study science until her parents and others protested against the school’s policy.

As a postgraduate student, Bell discovered the first radio pulsars (pulsating radio stars - super-dense, collapsed stars that emit a beam of electromagnetic radiation) while studying and advised her thesis supervisor Antony Hewish of same, for which Hewish shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Martin Ryle, while Bell Burnell was excluded.

Many prominent astronomers expressed outrage at this omission.

Delamere is currently filming Eureka, which has already seen him travel to the world's largest radio telescope, The Arecibo Observatory, in Puerto Rico. 

The observatory’s 1,000 foot radio telescope is used in three major areas of research: radio astronomy, atmospheric science and radar astronomy and it's the dish Pierce Brosnan slid down as Bond in Goldeneye.

As well as Eureka, Delamere is preparing for his new live show CTLR+ALT+DELAMERE, which tours nationwide from December.  His new DVD, The Fresh Prince of Delamere Live, is released on Friday 13th November.

He will also return to TV screens early next year in the eleventh season of the ever-popular panel show The Blame Game on BBC.

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