The world-famous CHRISTMAS LECTURES are coming to Armagh Observatory and Planetarium in December, when AOP streams the live filming, direct from the Royal Institution (Ri) theatre in London.

Watched by millions on the BBC, the annual CHRISTMAS LECTURES are a firm family favourite broadcast during the festive season. Confirmation of AOP as one of 16 livestream partners announced today means Armagh Observatory and Planetarium’s science lovers, and anyone who’s just curious about the world around them, will be able to experience first-hand the magic of the world’s longest-running science lecture series.

The Ri has set a target of 20 or more partner venues – to exceed the previous highest total of 18, set four years ago before the Covid-19 pandemic – with the first 16 locations confirmed today.

Sinead Mackle, Education and Outreach Manager at AOP, said: We are looking forward to welcoming visitors into Armagh Observatory and Planetarium to experience the Christmas Lectures Live Stream. The lectures are a very unique event and we hope that by hosting the live stream they will inspire our local STEM leaders of the future.“

Christmas Lectures

Director of the Royal Institution, Katherine Mathieson, said: “We’re extremely grateful to each of our fourteen partner venues, confirmed so far. They will all bring their own unique flavour to the live filming of the world-famous CHRISTMAS LECTURES, enabling local audiences to see what goes on behind the scenes when inspiring scientists are brought together with the public.

We’re delighted to be working with some of the UK’s best science research and engagement organisations to bring the Lectures within reach for even more people this year. We very much look forward to welcoming more partners in the run-up to filming.

The Ri is continuing discussions with further venues that have already expressed their interest, with others – including science centres, universities, museums, theatres and other cultural venues – invited to apply.

The CHRISTMAS LECTURES were the brainchild of Michael Faraday in 1825 and have been delivered every year since, with the exception of four years during World War II when it was too dangerous to have a theatre full of children in central London. The first science programme ever to be broadcast on UK national television, in 1936, they have been broadcast every year since 1966.

Last year Dame Sue Black revealed the ‘Secrets of forensic science’ and in 2021, Sir Jonathan Van-Tam delivered ‘Going Viral: How Covid changed science forever’ before notably going viral online himself due to the first Lecture’s opening sequences.

Filming of the 2023 CHRISTMAS LECTURES will be livestreamed from the Royal Institution’s iconic theatre on 12, 14 and 16 December. The Lectures will be broadcast on BBC national television and iPlayer between Christmas and New Year.

The 2023 Christmas Lecturer and the Lectures topic will be announced by the Ri in late August.


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