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Norfolk astronomer Mark Thompson gears up to present 24 lectures in 24 hours for cancer care

BBC crew and Norfolk Astronomer Mark Thompson, pictured, prepare for Stargazing Live 2014 at Kelling Heath Holiday Park. 
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

BBC crew and Norfolk Astronomer Mark Thompson, pictured, prepare for Stargazing Live 2014 at Kelling Heath Holiday Park. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2014

It will be a round-the-clock astronomy spectacular - 24 hours of lectures guiding listeners through the mysteries of black holes and the history of space.

Astronomer Mark Thompson, who lives near Diss, is gearing up to present the 24 Hour Space Spectacular in October, which will see him lead 24 40-minute lectures in one day in aid of Marie Curie cancer care.

And the 41-year-old, who presents BBC’s Stargazing Live, is appealing to local businesses to dig deep and sponsor a lecture to help fund the event.

He said: “I will be lecturing for an entire day, with the 20 minutes in each hour giving me a chance to breathe, have a drink and stop talking for a little while - but I will be pretty tired at the end.”

Each lecture will be based on a different aspect of astronomy, with some designed for youngsters, so star-gazers can pick and choose their favourites.

And the Norfolk man, whose love for the science started after he spotted Saturn through a telescope aged just 10, hopes to raise more than £40,000 for the charity with the ambitious show.

“It isn’t something that is done often,” he said. “I did look, in a moment of weakness, into what the world record is for longest lecture but it is 135 hours, five days, so I’m not sure I’m ready for that just yet.”

But he didn’t rule out the possibility of a world record attempt, and said that October’s event could be a “taster” for a bigger challenge.

The 24-hour event will run from October 22 to 23 at the Royal Institution in London.

Information on tickets will be released nearer the event.

For more information on the show, or to sponsor, click here.

Do you know anyone holding an unusual charity event? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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