U.K. Media Pay Tribute to 'The Sky At Night' TV Presenter Patrick Moore

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LONDON – The death of astronomer and presenter of iconic British late night TV show The Sky At Night Patrick Moore gave the U.K. media an opportunity to herald the eccentric multi-hyphenate's stellar career.

Moore died on Sunday at his home in Selsey, England, aged 89.

His death was announced by friends and colleagues in a statement Sunday.

The television show host was also the author of popular science books whose writing resume boasts an astronomy tome co-written by Queen guitarist Brian May.

The BBC, which aired The Sky At Night, lead the celebratory obituaries of the famously amateur astronomer who was as well known for sporting a monocle and playing the xylophone as he was for his knowledge and enthusiasm for outer space.

As the BBC obit pointed out, Moore was "notable for his habit of wearing a monocle on screen and his idiosyncratic style."

Moore presented the first edition of The Sky at Night on April 24 1957 and last appeared in an episode broadcast on Monday Dec. 3 during which he talked about the planet Mercury and the NASA spacecraft Messenger, which was sent to study it.

Moore's guests on the astronomy show have includes a slew of astronauts including Neil Armstrong.

The Independent newspaper described Moore as "a unique phenomenon in British astronomy," while The Guardian talked of "eccentric amateur who became a TV star."

British tabloid The Sun trumpeted Moore to its readers as "an inspiration to generations of stargazers" while journalist Ros Wynne-Jones wrote about tabloid arch rival The Mirror, described a night out with Moore which involved rave music, a xylophone solo and some fried eggs as one of the best ever.

His death made the pages of The New York Times noting that Moore also ruffled feathers on occasion with his "often conservative views" which saw him "publicly railing against British integration into Europe and once referring to immigrants as 'parasites."

Moore published more than 60 books on astronomy.

Together with Chris Lintott, an astrophysicist, Queen guitarist May and Moore penned Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, published in 2008.

One of his famous TV appearances here was on Channel 4's The Big Breakfast early morning show when he was interviewed by puppets Zig and Zay from behind his xylophone.

When asked by the colorful puppets just how loud the big bang was Moore quipped "very loud indeed."

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