Gary Fildes was born in Sunderland. He is the founder and lead astronomer of Kielder observatory, located in the forests of Northumberland. Among the world’s best sites for watching stars, it receives over 20,000 visitors a year. Gary did not attend university and left school at 17. In 2012 he was given an honorary Master’s degree from Durham University in recognition for his services to astronomy. He is currently leading a multi-million pound fundraising drive to make Kielder the world’s biggest public observatory.