Alex Jackson

London-based journalist and digital editor. Writes about science, health and technology, with sporadic moments of music punditry. Contributed to Nature, Scientific American, BBC, The Guardian, National Geographic, Geographical Magazine, Alter the Press and Shout4Music.
BBC

BBC - North Yorkshire - Blast - Icons and Idols

Icons and Idols explores the activities of the National Portrait Gallery over the past 25 years. What’s so special is the way in which the gallery chooses its paintings, for example, current popularity is not enough, there needs to be some likelihood that the individual and their achievements will be of enduring interest. In this sense, I suppose Prince Charles, is of some worthy note. He is my personal favourite here. Not only does the painting bring to life his character, but the painter who t
BBC

BBC - North Yorkshire - Blast - Beached Extravaganza

There’s something in a wet North Yorkshire crowd that makes Beached so special. No matter what Mother Nature throws at them, whether it's driving rain or relentless tides threatening to sweep them effortlessly away. They just keep partying on. Unlike the usual festival traumas of trench foot, the lack of being able to find your tent among thousands, it then being submerged by rain, not eating for three days, fighting for that last pair of we
BBC

BBC - North Yorkshire - Blast - Weird and Wonderful

So what exactly do our most adventurous artists and musicians get up to in their spare time? Do they settle down with a good book, watch a spot of television or relax in the British summertime? Not a chance. A visit to Scarborough Art Gallery this summer will explain all. What is this reporter jabbering on about, you may ask yourself; well Fabulous Sound Machines is in town. It’s an interactive exhibition that combines art and music in possibly the most experimental fashion ever. It promises to
BBC

BBC - North Yorkshire - Blast - A musical treat!

Scarborough's annual jazz festival has had a huge impact in the jazz world, with its refreshingly original and varied line-up of the best artists around. Although part of its success is down to the fantastic surroundings of the Spa complex, which sets the scene perfectly for great music. The star-studded line-up includes pianist Gareth Williams, the two Yorkshire bands- the Colin Byrne Big Band, the Matthew Ball Quintet and saxophonist Andy Panavi, whose quintet includes the award-wining Mark Ni
BBC

BBC - North Yorkshire - Entertainment - Whitby Folk Week 2006

Folk’s a funny old thing. It can entail the many traditions, different styles and even myths that appear in the dance music tradition, nursery rhymes, poetry, work songs and seemingly everything. As legendary jazz musician, Lou Armstrong, once famously said, “All music is folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing a song.” So I decided to find out more, with my first port of call right up on the West Cliff at the Royal Hotel Ballroom. Clambering up the steep steps and admiring the stunning vie
BBC

BBC - North Yorkshire - Entertainment - TOTP R.I.P.

The show, first broadcast from a converted church in Salford on New Year’s Day 1964, went on to win over the heart of a nation. Originally commissioned for only six episodes, Top of the Pops became compulsory viewing for decades. It reached music fans like no other show could, as viewers eagerly awaited their favourite band's all-important performance. There have been over 150 presenters, 13 logos and 10 different theme tunes. It has become a global brand transmitted in over 120 countries in whi