Norfolk TV astronomer bids to break world record of longest ever lecture

Norfolk astronomer and TV presenter Mark Thompson is getting ready to attempt to break the record fo

Norfolk astronomer and TV presenter Mark Thompson is getting ready to attempt to break the record for the worlds longest ever lecture. Photo: JMA Photography - Credit: JMA Photography

A Norfolk astronomer and TV presenter is getting ready to attempt to break the record for the world's longest ever lecture.

Astronomer Mark Thompson received an honorary doctorate at the UEA. Picture: UEA

Astronomer Mark Thompson received an honorary doctorate at the UEA. Picture: UEA - Credit: Archant

TV astronomer and writer Mark Thompson will attempt to smash the world record for the longest ever lecture by delivering his ultimate guide to the universe over the course of 140 hours.

Norfolk-born Mr Thompson, who is well-known from his role as a presenter on BBC Stargazing LIVE and for his Spectacular Science theatre show, delivered a 24-hour lecture at the Royal Institution in 2015, in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

And the scientist, who received an honorary doctorate last year from the University of East Anglia (UEA), is now gearing up for an even bigger challenge, after announcing his plans for the almost six-day long event during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

During an appearance on Christopher Biggins' Late Lunch, on Tuesday, August 13, while performing his own show at the Scottish comedy festival, Mark announced his plans for the world record attempt.

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

Speaking about his 24-hour lecture, Mr Thompson said: "At the time I remember investigating what the world record was for the longest lecture with a view to attempting to break it.

"When I learned it was over five days and having never attempted anything like this before, I decided perhaps not now."


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Mr Thompson spoke for the entire day, with "a chance to breathe, have a drink and stop talking for a little while," he said.

Norfolk astronomer and TV presenter Mark Thompson is getting ready to attempt to break the record fo

Norfolk astronomer and TV presenter Mark Thompson is getting ready to attempt to break the record for the worlds longest ever lecture. Photo: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the record for the longest ever lecture currently stands at 139 hours, 42 minutes and 56 seconds.

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Mr Thompson, who has been touring the UK for the last five years, will undertake a practice lecture before his World Record attempt in September 2020.

READ MORE: BBC Stargazing Live presenter to answer top five questions in astronomy at UEA

In October this year he will spend two nights without sleep and on the following evening, undertake a one-hour public lecture.

The crescent Moon and Venus appeared in the East on the morning of December 4. Photo: Mark Thompson

The crescent Moon and Venus appeared in the East on the morning of December 4. Photo: Mark Thompson - Credit: Mark Thompson

He will attempt to break the world record for the longest ever lecture by presenting his unique exploration of astronomy and space in a lecture that will last at least 140 hours - or 5.8 days.

During both the practice lecture and the world record attempt, Mark will wear a device to track his brainwaves which will be presented live online for school children to download and study, alongside prepared lesson plans.

READ MORE: Count your lucky stars! Mark Thompson awarded honorary doctorate for UEA

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