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Aston Doctor is BBC’s ‘bug buster’

21 December 2006 – for immediate release

Aston University’s Dr Anthony Hilton has become a household name due to his new found fame as a TV scientist on the BBC’s Grime Scene Investigations.

Anthony is the resident scientist (or ‘the brain’) on the programme and the Grime Scene team are extremely pleased with the success of the first series.

As Senior Microbiology Lecturer and Director of Biology Programmes at Aston, Dr Hilton has exceptional experience in researching the bugs and beasties which aren’t visible to the naked eye. He is also the Honorary General Secretary of the Society for Applied Microbiology.

Together with presenter Rufus Hound, Anthony and the ‘Anthoniettes’ have thoroughly enjoyed embarking on numerous missions to boldly go to grime scenes across the country in search of uncovering the multitude of bugs that lie in wait in our homes.

The Anthoniettes, who are all Aston University PHD research students, play an integral role in sourcing the grime samples and analysing their findings. Jess Rollason, Laura Wheeldon and Tarja Karpanen are all experts in Microbiology and share Anthony’s enthusiasm for the exploration of germs.

No stone is left unturned when the Grime Scene investigators are around. Houses are evacuated and the inhabitants interrogated in the search to find answers about their domestic hygiene. Homes are swabbed and sampled from top to toe and not even the inhabitants escape the process! Anthony and the team even have a mobile laboratory on the Grime Scene site where viruses, bacteria and general dirt undergo very close inspection.

‘Working on the programme has been great,’ says Anthony. ‘It gives us a rare opportunity to undertake detailed surveys of people's homes and look for correlations with their lifestyle. I was surprised just how many bacteria and fungi were lurking in even the cleanest domestic environments’.

‘It is also great to share my enthusiasm for microbiology with the viewing public in an informative and entertaining way’, he said.

For more information about the programme visit:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/tv/grime_scene/

ENDS

For further press information please contact Hannah Brookes on (0121) 204 4549.

Notes to editors:

From left to right: Jess Rollason, Rufus Hound, Tarja Karpanen, Dr Anthony Hilton, Laura Wheeldon and John 'Papa Jay' Critchell.

The above photograph is courtesy of the BBC and RDF media.

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