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Maggie Philbin, former Tomorrow’s World presenter (Picture: Linda Nylind / eyevine)




“I wish to vindicate us – it was not us who mentioned you might unfold jam on a CD!” she tells me, abruptly critical. I hadn’t even requested. Jam and CDs had not crossed my thoughts. However it’s clearly one thing that is been preying on Maggie’s for some time.




She is referring after all to the allegation that Tomorrow’s World, the much-loved former BBC science and expertise programme she hosted for seven years from 1983, as soon as boasted the following large factor, compact discs, have been so invincible you might even unfold them with jam. Take that, vinyl!


However, she asserts once more, “I am fairly positive we have now by no means carried out that!”


In any other case, as soon as that is sorted, Maggie, 63, couldn’t be in additional jovial spirits as a result of her want has lastly come true.


Right this moment she is to return to our screens to current Tomorrow’s World as soon as extra – testing driverless vehicles, amongst different improvements, though actually not utilizing any type of preserve on high.




Nobody was extra stunned than her when the science favorite, well-known for testing – reside – the most recent devices and scientific developments of the day, from satnavs to fax machines, was axed from the BBC in 2003.


However its return on BBC 4, for a 90-minute, reside, one-off particular, has positioned her and former co-host Howard Stableford, again at its coronary heart.


Passionately, she tries to elucidate how a lot the present means to her.


“They are saying when astronauts come again from area they spend the remainder of their lives wanting longingly on the moon,” she says.


“Engaged on Tomorrow’s World is a bit like that. Everybody who has labored on the programme feels the identical manner.




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LOVE OF TECH: Maggie Philbin (far proper) with the Tomorrow’s World workforce (Picture: PA Archive/PA Photos)



“You simply wish to be again there having these alternatives to carry groundbreaking expertise, meet the individuals who have studied for years to make it potential.”


These improvements within the 1980s included many issues we take with no consideration immediately together with cellphones.


“Even after we had the primary cell phone – the primary actually hand-held cellular – we might solely discuss on it for 30 minutes and it price about £3,000,” she says.


“Clearly no video, pics, GPS. I did not think about not solely that sooner or later I’d have one, that everybody would have one!”


She provides: “It is an enormous privilege.”




If it sounds excessive Maggie’s ardour turns into simpler to know when she takes you again to her love of science and expertise as a woman – a love that was not nurtured at her Leicester convent faculty just because she was that: a woman.


So she ended up doing a level in English and drama at Manchester College and in 1978, after commencement, answering an advert for a presenting job on Multi-Colored Swap Store.


She acquired it, becoming a member of the late Keith Chegwin, John Craven and Noel Edmonds and changing into a memorable youngsters’s favorite for ever extra.


She and Cheggers additionally turned one among TV’s golden couples and married in 1982. They’d one daughter, Rose, however sadly they divorced in 1993.


The pair remained pals and she or he has by no means remarried.




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GOLDEN COUPLE: Maggie with bubbly Keith Chegwin and their daughter Rose (Picture: PA Archive/PA Photos)



When Keith died of lung illness virtually a 12 months in the past Maggie launched a poignant public assertion.


Now she says Rose, 30, who lives in San Francisco and works in expertise was capable of spend six weeks along with her dad earlier than he died.


The pair will bear in mind him on the anniversary of his dying “in our personal quiet manner”.


“Even now it’s nonetheless very arduous to soak up,” she says.


“It’s simply very, very arduous to imagine. He was an unbelievable character and a really beneficiant particular person.”




Clearly it has been a tough time for Maggie, which little question makes returning to her favorite gig much more particular.


She by no means left behind her love of expertise, launching her personal firm Teen Tech in 2008, organising occasions and competitions for kids and presenting the BBC’s science programme Bang Goes The Principle.


However she has at all times carried a torch for Tomorrow’s World.


Again then she gave 5 days every week to it regardless of having to show down lucra-tive promoting offers.


“I’ll at all times do issues which I really feel are significant,” she says. “I am not all for tv for tv’s sake. The phrase movie star fills me with horror.”




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FIRST TV JOB: Maggie, Noel, John and Keith on Multi-Colored Swap Store (Picture: Distinctive Tv)



Maybe not for her, then, a stint within the I am A Superstar… jungle like her former Swap Store co-host Noel Edmonds?


She laughs: “I’ll watch I am A Superstar… with curiosity however I might by no means see myself within the jungle.”


And he or she admits she just isn’t positive how Noel will get by with out his cellular.




Guffawing, she remembers: “Noel had one of many first cellphones. In Swap Store he got here in sooner or later with this enormous briefcase and mentioned, ‘Guess what’s in right here?’


“We have been all being very facetious and guessing what is likely to be within the suitcase – and inside, was this like radio phone, huge! He was like, ‘Look, look, I’ve a phone in my suitcase!’ And Keith and I have been wanting round in any respect the telephones on desks, all around the workplace and attempting to suppose what the benefit of this phone in a suitcase might presumably be.”


It seems, as we have been all to find by way of Tomorrow’s World, Noel was manner forward of his time.


Tomorrow’s World Dwell: For One Evening Solely is on BBC 4 tonight at 9pm.






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