RIP Professor Heinz Wolff


Remember The Great Egg Race growing up as a kid in the 80s. Made science seem fun and interesting.

(I work as a scientist now. It’s shit. But that’s my problem.)

He was one of the nice guys. RIP.


A friend of mine worked with him for a while and posted the following on her Facebook:

In a world of vacuous celebrity and the fawning worship of empty vessels… we’ve lost one of the eccentric TV greats. An intellectual titan for sure, but a wonderful, mischievous, avuncular, inspirational and twinkly man too. Always good-natured, fascinating, and impossible not to adore.

How could you not love his ridiculous comedy accent, unchanged despite decades of living in England? He was kindness personified, generous to a fault and would go to any ends to create elaborate practical jokes. At one of the universities he worked in, he hired a large stuffed grizzly, which he placed in the second half of a corridor’s dog leg. In the first half, he made a sign saying: ‘BEAR TO THE LEFT’.

For a section of one of his programmes, it was decided he should be dressed as a B-Movie alien and filmed at the controls of a ‘spaceship’ (actually the largely derelict interior of Battersea Power Station)… a couple of hours in make-up at Telly Centre and he was transformed. Determined to travel to Battersea on public transport in full costume, the terrified spoilsport of a producer wrestled him into a taxi… of course he spent the whole journey watching for other drivers and pedestrians to notice his startling appearance. He was a joy.

Condolences to the family and everyone who knew and loved him, I can’t begin to imagine the agonising grief of losing such a unique and warm member of your family - such a special man. Thank you for the fun x



That’s great!

He was a smidge before a time that allows me to have a fully formed memory of him*, but I like what I recall and that anecdote reinforces it. A sad loss.

(*Johnny Ball would be first in my list of infectiously enthusiastic famous scientists. Both great, though.)


Well that’s just fucking lovely :grinning::+1:


He was a good egg.