British television personality Amanda Holden attracts the headlines. She was recently previously pilloried for wearing a too-revealing dress on the family television show Britain’s Got Talent, and thus doing her bit to encourage youngsters to do the same thing in this sexual harassment-riven age. Her television appearance in the dress generated the most ever complaints received by the UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom (sorry – we cannot show Amanda in her dress in this family news story).  Having got over that one, Amanda Holden has again been made fun of by fans and foes alike. This time her faux-pas was an uneducated question about space.

During a TV interview with British ESA astronaut, Major Tim Peake, on the ITV Show “This Morning” Amanda Holden asked him whether he brought any moon rock back from his recent mission. This would be tricky as the International Space Station (ISS) in low Earth orbit where he visited, is about 250,000 miles short of the Moon. Amanda Holden later admitted that she had been a “t*t” for asking such a dumb question.

Mission plan diagram showing the narrow Apollo re-entry corridor. Courtesy: NASA


On the subject of Major Tim, or rather Major Tom, it has been revealed that the BBC refused to play the original version of David Bowie’s beautiful if doom-laden song “A Space Oddity” on its radio stations until the Apollo 11 crew (Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins) safely returned from their historic lunar landing mission in that summer of 1969.

Bowie’s song was memorably re-recorded/performed in space recently by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on the ISS. See it here.