Heather Couper obituary

Astronomer and television presenter whose passion for her subject captivated audiences

The astronomer and broadcaster Heather Couper, who has died aged 70 after a short illness, helped, with her passion for the subject, to redefine the way her science was presented on television.

She made her name with two series in particular, The Planets (1985) and The Stars (1988), both on Channel 4. In these programmes, rather than presenting from a TV studio, Couper took viewers inside the observatories that shaped the subject she loved. Her scripts were often laced with tales of stargazers from the past, and this historical context, presented from a personal point of view, showed the process of the science, and humanised it.

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