Georgia Humphreys chats to Professor Brian Cox, ahead of his visit to the BIC with his live show


Having set two Guinness World Record titles with his previous sell-out live UK and Ireland tour, Professor Brian Cox, OBE is heading back out on the road with a brand new show for 2019, Professor Brian Cox Live 2019, including a date at the BIC on Friday, September 20.

Taking audiences to the edge of our current understanding about the origin and evolution of our solar system and the universe, the show promises to offer a fascinating insight into the workings of nature at the most fundamental level.

Whether an avid science reader or a total novice, Professor Cox makes challenging ideas accessible to all, exploring the vast, possibly infinite universe and our place within it from earth to the edges of the cosmos. Brian will once again be joined by co-host of The Infinite Monkey Cage and award-winning comedian Robin Ince to oversee an audience Q&A, giving fans the chance to ask any questions they have and making every show unique.

The tour follows a number of landmark BBC documentaries fronted by Prof Cox, who has completed decades of work as a physicist at the University of Manchester, as well as bringing us Wonders of the Solar System, Human Universe and Forces of Nature with Brian Cox - and a spell in the band D:Ream.

Asked how he finds interacting with the fans he has amassed through his TV work, the Oldham-born academic, 51, suggests: "Science is one of the ways that we understand what it means to be human.

"I would say to get a complete picture of the things that we all care about, science and the arts and literature and music are all part of an attempt to understand why we're here and what it means.

"So I'm delighted that people, not just myself but Alice Roberts and Helen Czerski and Jim Al-Khalili, are now big public figures.

"And it should be said it's because of a decision that was taken some time ago at the BBC, which is still the policy now, to have academics present television programmes.

"That's ultimately what we are and that I think it's extremely important. We need more public intellectuals in every field, we really do."

Cox is thrilled that his work is gaining interest in the public eye, and starting a conversation about the solar system, the topic highlighted during his most recent groundbreaking series, The Planets.

"The philosophy is that the solar system is a system but I think that's quite surprising, and an important point actually, because it is quite natural for us, I think, to focus our eyes on the Earth alone and think that we're isolated from the goings on in the rest of the Universe," he says.

"It's critically important in our understanding of the solar system today that we've now seen well over 3,000 planets around distant stars.

"And what we've seen is the geography of solar system, the layout of solar systems, are not like ours in general."

Cox admits he too has learnt a lot from the programmes he's fronted, and is always yearning for a deeper understanding.

"I'm always looking for the philosophical underpinnings of the films - it doesn't necessarily become explicit but it's there," he explains There does seem to be circumstantial evidence there's certainly other small things out there - Pluto-sized objects, lots of them.

"But in terms of a big planet - yes, there is some circumstantial evidence there might be.

"The distances are so vast and the sunlight is so dim out there, there could be big things and we wouldn't have seen them."


Professor Brian Cox Live 2019, is at the BIC on Friday, September 20.