Dara O Briain deletes tweet criticising BBC over Stargazing Live and conspiracy theories podcast

The Mock the Week host had called into question why the BBC wasn't currently making further series of Stargazing Live while funding a conspiracy theory podcast by Scarlett Moffatt.

Professor Brian Cox, Dara Ó Briain in front of a Saturn V rocket, Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

Comedian and TV presenter Dara Ó Briain has deleted his tweet that criticised the BBC’s decision to fund a conspiracy theory podcast hosted by Scarlett Moffatt while not commissioning further series of his show Stargazing Live.

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In the tweet, the popular Mock the Week host had called the decision into question, writing, “Trying not to be depressed today that while the BBC don’t seem to want to make any more Stargazing Live, they will pay Scarlett Moffatt to make a podcast about how she doesn’t believe in the Moon landings.”

The tweet was referring to Moffat Wants To Believe, the BBC Sounds podcast launched by the former Gogglebox star earlier this year which sees her and boyfriend Scott Dobinson discuss various conspiracy theories – including whether the moon landings might have been faked.

But after deleting his tweet, the Irishman put out a follow up post in which he clarified his thoughts and criticised some of his followers for directing personal abuse towards Moffatt.

He wrote, “For the record, I’ve met Scarlett, she was a guest on Blockbusters, and she is a lovely person, so please don’t give her any grief. I’ve not tagged her in here. I just think this kind of series is a shame. You’ll get no credit from me for personal abuse, though. Ok?”

In a further tweet Ó Briain then claimed, “Okay, I’ve made my point. Happy not to let it float around in perpetuity.

“And I don’t want to fuel grief for anyone, so I’ve deleted it. You all keep well. Oh, and we left mirrors on the moon in 1969 that we still bounce lasers off.”

Stargazing Live was launched in 2011 and was hosted by Ó Briain (who is an amateur astronomer) alongside popular scientist Professor Brian Cox, before it stopped airing following its seventh series in 2017 – although there was a one-off special last year to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

The BBC has noted that it is open to picking Stargazing Live back up in the future.

The BBC said in statement: “Stargazing has not been cancelled and we are open to further series in the future. In addition, we have had some really strong space content in recent months including Pluto: Back from The Dead and Hubble: The Wonders of Space on BBC Two and there is more to come including a major new series from Brian Cox.”

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