Auditions for TV lecturers

January 12, 1996

I was amused to read about the trials and tribulations of giving the Royal Institution Christmas lectures (THES, December 29). I was surprised, however, to read that the lecturers are "chosen by BBC talent-spotters" attending public science lectures, and that it was I who was quoted as having said this.

Susan Greenfield, the 1994 lecturer, was first "talent spotted" at a public lecture, it is true, but she was certainly not selected on that basis alone. The Christmas lecturer is chosen by the Royal Institution in consultation with the BBC, following several clearly defined stages including an audition on camera. I would be distressed if readers, particularly those who would like to become a Christmas lecturer, were misinformed about the selection process.

CAROLINE VAN DEN BRUL

Executive producer, BBC science and features

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