Simon Mayo will show how Science Rocks!

Published: 21 February 2013 at 11:36

Anglia Ruskin to host BBC presenter as part of next month’s Essex Book Festival

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Radio presenter Simon Mayo will be donning his safety specs and exploring the weird and wonderful world of the periodic table at Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford on Thursday, 14 March.

The BBC Radio 2 Drivetime host will be discussing his children’s science fiction books Itch and Itch Rocks during Science Rocks with Simon Mayo, one of three events Anglia Ruskin will be hosting as part of next month’s Essex Book Festival.

Mayo began writing three years ago, when he decided to create something for his son Joe, an avid reader and science nut.  Having spent 10 years interviewing scientists for his BBC Radio 5 Live show he had plenty of ideas, and was soon consumed by Itch, waking up in the middle of the night to write the story of an everyday school boy whose habit of collecting all the elements in the periodic table gets him in some seriously dangerous situations.

Mayo, who has worked on BBC radio since 1981, has won numerous honours including “radio broadcaster of the year” at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards and “Speech Broadcaster of the Year” at the Sony Radio Academy Awards.  His event at Anglia Ruskin runs from 10-11am and will be followed by a book signing.

On Friday, 22 March (7pm), Anglia Ruskin will host The State of the Nation: the state of the UK today and tomorrow, which will see a distinguished panel of guests discuss the pressing problems facing the country caused by the financial crisis, globalisation and climate change.

The panel will consist of Simon Burns, MP for Chelmsford and Minister of State for Transport; Daniel Trilling, assistant editor of the New Statesman and author of Bloody Nasty People: The Rise of Britain’s Far Right; Stephen Bloomfield, Director of the Corporate Governance Unit at Anglia Ruskin’s Lord Ashcroft International Business School; and Tony Juniper, who until recently was executive director of Friends of the Earth.  The event will be chaired by Eduardo Reyes, features editor of The Law Gazette.

Meanwhile, Professor Martin Salisbury, Course Leader for Anglia Ruskin’s MA in Children’s Book Illustration, will lead an evening of art and conversation on Wednesday, 13 March (7pm).  Illustrating Children’s Books will see Professor Salisbury joined by Observer political cartoonist Chris Riddell; experienced children’s book illustrators Richard Holland and Diana Mayo; and recent Anglia Ruskin MA graduate Courtney Dicmas, whose book Harold Finds a Voice was published last month. 

There will be live drawing, the opportunity for audience participation, and a chance to take a close-up look at sketch books and portfolios, while the panel will share their inspirations and also divulge some publishing secrets!

Entry to Illustrating Children’s Books and Science Rocks with Simon Mayo is free and tickets can be booked at or by calling 0845 196 4723. Tickets for The State of the Nation cost £5 (£4 for concessions) and are available by calling the Essex Book Festival box office on 01206 573948.