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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 June, 2005, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
Physicist wins UK 'science idol'
Mark Lewsey, FameLab
Lewney (left) wowed the audience at the Cheltenham Science Festival
A physicist from Cardiff has won a competition aimed at finding talented communicators of science.

Dr Mark Lewney wowed judges at the Cheltenham Science Festival with an explanation of the physics of music, complete with electric guitar riffs.

The FameLab competition was open to anyone over 18 and working in science.

Mr Lewney, a Patent Office examiner, was presented with a 2,000 cheque and will now enter into talks with Channel 4 about a science presenting career.

Judges included science writer and broadcaster Simon Singh, fertility expert and TV presenter Lord Winston, and the Daily Telegraph's science editor Roger Highfield.

"The reaction of the audience in the final spoke volumes and they loved Mark. He left the opposition behind. It is exactly this kind of talent that works on TV," Hamish Mykura, head of history, science and religion at Channel 4, and one of the judges, commented.

The FameLab final took place at the Cheltenham Science Festival over the weekend.

Twelve finalists were whittled down to six during the afternoon's live semi-finals. In the evening, the final six each had five minutes to win over the audience and judging panel.

"This unusual competition is a real innovation in science and an excellent way to uncover new talent, to find the next Robert Winston or Johnny Ball," said Susan Butler, communications director at the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta).

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