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3 December 2009

Radio Times 'Letter of the Week'

After sending a letter to the Radio Times concerning a specific Horizon programme and the James May Toy Story series, I was delighted find my words published as 'Letter of the Week' for the 5-11 December 2009.

The letter is reproduced below, with kind permission of the Radio Times Reader Services.


Social Science
I was impressed how the presentation, format and flow of the Horizon programme How Long is a Piece of String? successfully handled its unfamiliar, irrational and complex subject matter. The involvement of many scientific individuals in conjunction with the continuity provided by the ever quizzical Alan Davies, worked extremely well. A vast improvement over the very disappointing attempt to handle similar subjects in the Who's Afraid of a Big Black Hole? episode.

On reflection I noticed a number of style parallels with James May's entertaining and extremely successful Toy Stories series. However, a key ingredient of his series is the involvement of the general public, often in large numbers and always with great enthusiasm and commitment. Could the much improved Horizon style be enriched further by the addition of a similar social element?

I think it would. Maybe James May himself could be coaxed into making an appearance.

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