Dermot O'Leary to host Channel 4's 'live from space' season

Dermot O'Leary is teaming up with Professor Stephen Hawking to present a live two-hour TV show linking up with the International Space Station (ISS) as it orbits the earth.

The X Factor host will interview the astronauts live from his base in NASA's Mission Control in Houston, Texas, as they travel at 17,500 mph 250 miles above Earth.

He will also be joined by the award-winning physicist and British astronaut Tim Peake, who is set to join the crew onboard the ISS next year.

David Glover from Channel 4, who commissioned the show which is part of a season of programmes looking behind the scenes at NASA, said it would be 'a true British TV first'.

He said: "We hope to show what life on board is really like, what happens when things go wrong and then finally giving viewers a live lap of planet Earth."

Dermot said: "It's a big deal for me to be asked to host Live from Space Season. When David first told me about the show I had to try hard not to revert back to being the eight-year-old kid and the excitement I felt watching the first space shuttle take off in '81.

"Since then, like most of my Star Wars/Trekkie generation, space has always held a fascination. It's already been an education to research this project and so I can't wait to join the viewers in finding out both the spectacular (and what the astronauts would consider mundane, but most of us will find fascinating) workings of the ISS. I simply can't wait."

The series, which will be shown in March, also looks at how astronauts cope with living and working in space for months at a time and how Mission Control deals with potential problems.


Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.