Portsmouth science expert is poached for national radio show

LIVE Professor Jim Al-Khalili
LIVE Professor Jim Al-Khalili

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A PORTSMOUTH physicist hopes to convert hundreds of thousands of Radio 4 listeners to his favourite subject when he launches science’s answer to Desert Island Discs in October.

Jim Al-Khalili will be appearing every Tuesday at 9am with The Life Scientific.

The father-of-two is no stranger to broadcasting and has featured in many documentaries about science, but he is ‘relishing the challenge’ of communicating with his biggest audience to date with his debut slot as a radio host.

Prof Al-Khalili said: ‘The show will go out to people at home doing the washing, or in their cars on the way to work.

‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to bring science to everybody and show them people behind great scientific research and discoveries who are totally normal. I want to know about how they relax, what they enjoy doing in their free time, how they go about their work and the stories behind their research. Rather than having a different approach of asking questions and letting the scientist rambling on, I’ll be engaging in a very real and dynamic conversation with them.’

He was headhunted by the BBC’s new Radio 4 controller Gwyneth Williams.

Prof Al-Khalili, 49, of Pelham Road, Southsea, said: ‘Science is not just for those who pursue it academically. It’s for anyone with an appreciation of the aesthetic beauty in the world around us and who wants to know our place in the universe.’