TV presenter Dallas Campbell opens Grantham's Gravity Fields festival
TV presenter Dallas Campbell opened Grantham's Gravity Fields festival this afternoon in front of hundreds of onlookers in the George Centre.
The frontman for the BBC's hit Bang Goes The Theory science show joked: "This is the first time I've ever opened anything – apart from my mind through science, of course."
And on a more serious note, he added: "It is wonderful to be at a festival which celebrates science and humanity.
"Science in particular is quite often perceived as rather isolated from the wider cultural experience. I like to think of it as a lens that focuses the brain's often woolly tendencies."
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The George Centre audience - including local dignitaries - laughed their way through the presenter's 10-minute official opening.
Earlier, actors from Grantham Dramatic Society played a series of roles to warm up the audience, including Sir Isaac Newton himself. Middle Ages apothecaries Floggit and Skarper, from Dizzy O'Dare, also entertained the crowd.
Students from Grantham College also showcased some incredible costumes they had created which will be worn in next Friday's 'transformation of the town' finale parade.
Dallas told the crowds how he was inspired to become a TV science presenter through watching programmes like Tomorrow's World, which was one of the BBC's most popular programmes in the 1970s and 1980s.
He revealed he had been at Woolsthorpe Manor, Sir Isaac Newton's birthplace, earlier in the day.
"That was a fantastic experience," Dallas told granthampeople before the opening ceremony.
"When you are the presenter of a TV science programme and you visit where Newton lived, it has a very special significance.
"I came back armed with loads of questions from schoolchildren there – some I can answer, and some I can't, to be perfectly honest."
He said the two most popular questions he gets asked are "Why did you become a science presenter when you don't have a background in science?" and "Why are you called Dallas?"
Commenting on the latter he said: "In the 1980s that TV programme made my life hell.
"And now Channel 5 has brought it back!"
After Dallas' official opening Bijal Lavda, chairman of Grantham Business Club and a member of the Gravity Fields steering committee, said: "Grantham has always wanted something that encompasses the spirit of Isaac Newton – something like Shakespeare has done for Stratford.
"To have people coming from all over world coming to this event to breathe the air that Newton breathed is very special."
- Photo gallery of the opening event http://www.granthampeople.co.uk/pictures/Grantham-Gravity-Fields-festival-launch-event/pictures-16957341-detail/pictures.html