It is with great regret that I write about the death of Sir Patrick Moore, who passed away in his Selsey home yesterday afternoon, aged 91.
His family released a statement confirming that after a short spell in hospital last week, it was determined that further treatment would not be beneficial and that Sir Patrick opted to spend his final days in his own home, surrounded by his friends and family.
Many will remember Sir Patrick from The Sky At Night, for which he holds the record of being the longest running TV host. He first presented the show in 1957 and did so continuously until just last week.
Sir Patrick was undoubtedly a man of the stars. In fact, he called his own home “Far Things” and names his cat Ptolemy, after the Greek mathematician and astrologer. However, as a gamer who grew up in the Nineties I will always remember him as the GamesMaster.
The GamesMaster was a Channel 4 show which ran between 1992 and 1998.
Amongst other relatively famous faces, Jet & Shadow (from the Gladiators), John Fashnu (Wimbledon & AVFC), Eric Bristow (Darts World Champion), Frank Bruno (Boxer) and Vinnie Jones (bad footballer and Lock Stock & Two Smokin’ Barrels hard man) were brought in to try and make gaming some credibility.
Whilst Sir Patrick wasn’t the host, his role as a large robotic head was always the main appeal for me, being the only constant in a show that ran for more than half a decade. I’ll never forget the sarcastic way in which he handed out “advice” to the losing contestant(s).
Whether you look at Sir Patrick as the GamesMaster or an Astronomer, the sky is surely one star brighter from now on. Rest in peace.