Try Brian Cox (Wonders of the Universe, BBC TV). He’s the coolest thing on the planet, and he’s a particle physicist which might come in useful when catching those pesky isotopes. In fact particle poppet Bri (40 and some) is a bit of a wonder himself, being the oldest man alive to get away with a Liam Gallagher haircut c1993. And how does he stand on those Himalayan peaks without the need for oxygen with all his hair in place? Neil Oliver would be speaking through a gob full of the stuff with an iron lung hidden in his swag bag.
But our Bri from Oldham can cool anything. He can freeze supernovas, red giants, collapsing stars, the whole universe. When Bri passes by even the stars diminish. When he blows bubbles to demonstrate how elements combine (“In fact, it’s a lot more complex than that!”), the camera goes low, the jeans look too hot for the desert, and Bri develops a godlike sheen. Or is that sweat? Is Bri starting to feel the heat?
Undaunted, he delves into a derelict former prison in Rio scratching elements on the wall as they’re created by the collapsing star or ‘prison’. Clever. No post-modern imagery here because Simon Armitage did it closer to home in ‘93 with Xanadu. When Bri teeters away in his Adidas Sambas, explosions demolish the old jail. You can almost hear the producer shouting: “Don’t fuck this up, Bri. We only get one chance.”
Wikipedia says Bri, “considers himself an atheist”, and so he keeps very good company. His website plugs the “Uncaged Monkeys” tour with Goldacre and Singh (Darwin! Monkeys! Geddit!). Golly. What wags! One atheist website condemns him for getting, “the God virus” because he’s, “not anti-religion”. He said, “I have nothing to say on the subject”. Brian Cox, the coolest thing on TV since Torville and Dean, has nothing to say on the subject! As his producer might say, “Don’t fuck this up, Bri. You only get one chance.”