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Bloggers have run campaigns stating Mr Ball ‘should not be allowed near children’.
And an imposter has even tried to cancel his booking at a training day for maths teachers in Northampton. In a sinister twist, websites have also been set up in his name which contain pornographic images. Mr Ball, a 72-year-old grandfather, believes his career has been destroyed and says his bookings have fallen by 90 per cent since the smear campaign began four years ago. Police are investigating his claims.
The former presenter of Think of a Number and Think Again first spoke out against ‘alarmist’ climate change scientists at the Manchester Science Festival in 2007. He criticised those who terrify children by telling them that they ‘are all going to hell in a handcart in 39 years’ because of climate change. And in 2009 he was booed off stage for making his spider remark.
Yesterday he said the campaign against him amounted to a ‘witch-hunt’. He said: ‘This was clearly a criminal act to damage me and my career business. People have every right to make up their own minds on my stance. But to deliberately smear my name in ways that are clearly criminal is so very disappointing. ‘I would hope it is not the way fair and sensible debate is going in this far more open, modern society.’
Mr Ball is a prolific author of maths books who has also produced five educational stage musicals. He said he has been sceptical of climate change arguments since the 1960s when scientists warned of an impending ice age. And he said that anyone who seeks to make a common sense, measured comment about climate change is branded a ‘heretic’. Yesterday, he called for the views from both sides of the climate change camp to be heard.