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TV astronomer from Harleston, Mark Thompson, solves 100 Rubik's cubes in one sitting for Ukraine fundraiser

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The best-known astronomer in south Norfolk has swapped stargazing for problem-solving after completing 100 Rubik’s Cubes in one sitting.

Mark Thompson, who lives in Harleston, completed the mammoth challenge in just over 10 hours during a fundraiser for people fleeing war-torn Ukraine.

The 48-year-old, who often appears on Good Morning Britain, was inspired to take on the challenge after picking up a Rubik’s Cube during the first lockdown.

Mr Thompson completed the challenge in just 10 hours. Picture: Mark Thompson
Mr Thompson completed the challenge in just 10 hours. Picture: Mark Thompson

“I had never got into Rubik’s Cubes as a child, so I set myself a challenge of working out how to solve one during lockdown, and I found it quite a relaxing thing to do,” he said.

“After a few weeks, I finally got there, and then I increased the challenge by going for even bigger cubes.

“I wasn’t too interested in increasing the speed – I just wanted another mental challenge, so I went up to a 5x5 cube, then a7x7.”

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the father-of-two decided to put his new-found skills to good use by raising money for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

In front of a crowd at the The Forum in Norwich city centre on Saturday, March 26, and broadcasting to the world via YouTube, Mr Thompson tried a variation of 3x3, 5x5 and 7x7 cubes, completing the challenge two hours short of his 12-hour target.

“By the end of it, I think I’d had enough of Rubik’s Cubes,” he said.

“The only time I stopped was for a couple of trips to the toilet.”

A bucket collection on the day pulled in more than £120, while his online fundraiser amassed an impressive £1,050.

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