NAME: Professor Brian Edward Cox OBE
AGE: 45 (born 3 March 1968)
ABOUT: Professor Brian Cox is a British particle physicist, Royal Society University Research Fellow, PPARC Advanced Fellow and Professor at the University of Manchester; who it seems is never off our TV screens trying to explain the world and how it works, and in turn making science, physics and astronomy almost popular and very nearly cool (just the writing of the word cool marks me out as over 35, and the fact that I feel the need to qualify my use of the word cool, most definitely means I have forgotten what it really means, and am writing this in my pyjamas and fluffy socks).
Born to a middle class family of bankers (yep those most of us have a new word for), Cox attended a fee paying School – Hulme Grammar in Oldham; and although he went to the University of Manchester to study physics (and obtained a jolly decent degree), its probably fair to say his heart wasn't really in it, he was more interested in music, seeing a decent amount of success after joining D:Ream, a group many of us will remember for hits such as a the number one "Things Can Only Get Better (see him rocking out in 1994 on Top of The Pops below). Cox played the keyboard, and D:Ream was not his foray into the music scene he also played keyboards on the first two albums of the still in existence rock band – Dare (not heard of them? Nope neither have we).
After D:Ream he went on to add to his first class Bachelor of Science and MPhil degrees in physics with a Doctor of Philosophy in high energy particle physics at the University of Manchester and Cox's impressive resume continues, with him being a member of the High Energy Physics group at the University of Manchester, he also works at the infamous Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva.
But it his work on the television educating and entertaining the masses, is what marks him out and has made him a household name; the list of TV and radio shows is rather long, but includes BBC Horizon – "The Six Billion Dollar Experiment", "What on Earth is Wrong with Gravity?", "Do You Know What Time It Is?" and "Can we Make a Star on Earth?". The Wonders of the Solar System in 2010 and Wonders of the Universe in 2011, plus Stargazing Live with another physicist (turned comedian) Dara Ó Briain.
Cox's easy conversational style makes him easy to watch, and perhaps learn!
WHAT MAKES HIM RAZBERRY CANDY?: The late great Patrick Moore's legacy is safe in his hands as BBC's scientific programming has a better looking and slightly less bonkers man at its helm!