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patrickmoore-2EA little inspiration is a beautiful thing. With many fellow bloggers filling my Reader with glorious day and night skyscapes over the past couple of weeks, this celestial chap sprung into the mind. I’ve been trying to draw him all week, and I think this is the best of the bunch. (Note the newly-constructed, extra-textured brush which was, hmm, interesting!)

Sir Patrick Moore hosted the BBC’s captivating astronomy feature The Sky at Night from 1957 right up to his death in December 2012 – fifty-five years, a record stint for any television presenter – and only missed a single edition in that time. Though merely an amateur astronomer, his professorial, eccentric but far from buffoonish delivery made his learnedness clear and communication the envy of those more seasoned than he; a highly complex subject was made accessible and intriguing thanks to him. He penned countless books on the subject.

He was also really rather good a xylophonist.

For me, however – and doubtless a generation of others – Sir Patrick will be just as fondly remembered as the titular character in Channel 4’s rebel hit GamesMaster, which ran from 1992 to 1998. A supreme and deliciously left-field coup for a cheap kids gaming show, Moore’s orderly, watchful grace proved a neat foil to the cocky teenage gamers and the equally cocky innuendos that were the penchant of host Dominik Diamond – their collective sharpness was a combination no copycat show could match or get away with, and unquestionably the key to its success.

“Hello, Gamesmastah…”

Appearing in CGI inserts, awkwardly keyed into distorted, primitive renders, those in search of tips and cheats would amble before the piercing presence in the Consoletation Zone – see what they did there? – and ask The Gamesmaster for help. Though later admitting he hadn’t the foggiest idea what he was talking about, he remains curiously believable as the 8/16-bit oracle, such that it’s now impossible to imagine anybody else pulling it off with as much gusto. An inspired choice.