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Bucks author sheds light on science superstar Professor Brian Cox
SCIENCE may have seemed dull, out of reach, or simply irrelevant to many not that long ago. Physics, it's fair to say, was certainly not in the mainstream. But thanks to Professor Brian Cox, first known to the British public for his role as keyboard player in pop band D-Ream, that has all changed.
Credited with an upsurge in interest in the topic and increasing numbers of students choosing to study the sciences, he has fronted a number of hit BBC TV shows.
Author Ben Falk, Little Marlow born and bred, is now hoping to shed light on Prof Cox and how he rose to prominence with his new biography.
Ben, 37, who also lived in Beaconsfield, told Freetime that for most people there were only three main things the now TV personality was associated with - handsomeness, D-REAM and science.
He aims to change this with the recently published book.
Ben, a journalist who freelances for the Telegraph online, among other publications, talked with school pals from Oldham, former work colleagues and university associates.
"It was filling in the blanks and finding out who he was behind that," Ben said.
"It's an affectionate book and it's filling in the blanks for people who might not know where he's come from."
Although many are familiar with his appearance on Top of the Pops with D-Ream, it was actually another band who Prof Cox was more involved with.
Ben, who met Prof Cox before his fame exploded, explained that his D-Ream role was actually just peripheral initially as a sound engineer.
"Actually though he spent five years in a rock band called Dare.
"They never reached number one and reached the heights of D-Ream but they were a actually quite a successful band and that was his major musical thing.
"It's quite interesting for me finding that out, people haven't heard of that. He could have stayed being a rock and roll band but decided to go back to University."
Ben said there is no doubting that he has made his subject of greater interest to the masses.
He said: "One of the great things he's done is to make science palatable to lots of kids. He has such a broad appeal, he's not just for science nerds."
Ben, son of former Daily Mail film critic Quentin Falk, who still lives in Little Marlow, is no stranger to famous people.
For a spell, he headed up the Press Association's Los Angeles office, covering all the big Hollywood names.
Going to the Oscars and grabbing a word with stars such as Jeff Daniels are memories that live on, he said.
"The Oscars was pretty amazing, an incredible experience. I was backstage when Martin Scorsesee won his first Oscar for the Departed in 2006."
Stars in the sky, rather than those of the film variety, and the wonders of the solar system are more relevant to his new biography.
And Ben is hoping that those who are fascinated by the origins of the universe, will be just as fascinated by the origins of the man who put stargazing in vogue and stopped science being stuffy.
The book is called The Wonder of Brian Cox: The Unauthorised Biography of the Man Who Brought Science to the Nation and is available from Amazon and all good bookstores. RRP is £17.99.
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