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Brian Cox and his Stargazing Live crew were banned from searching for life on a newly discovered planet because BBC bosses feared aliens may breach editorial guidelines.
Prof Cox, who hosts the show with comedian Dara O'Briain, said he had hoped to point the Jodrell Bank telescope at the planet Threapleton Holmes B after it was discovered live on air last year and listen for signs of life.
But he claimed he was prevented from doing so because the Corporation was concerned that a discovery of aliens could violate BBC regulations.
Speaking on the BBC Radio 6 Music breakfast show on Wednesday, Prof Cox said: "The BBC actually said 'You can't do that. We need to go through the regulations and health and safety and everything in case we discover a signal from an alien civilisation'.
Originally posted by FireballStorm
We need to go through the regulations and health and safety and everything
I don't believe that this is a "cover up", but I am surprised that the BBC was so touchy when it came to this topic.
The same nonsense that prevents us from using any scissors at my workplace except for blunt kindergarten grade. Cant be sharp, because somebody might get hurt.