… or possibly to a school near you!

Get in touch with Richard Robinson  –



The story of the universe from the Big Bang  to bang up to date, in 6 Zoom sessions. Suitable for 8-11 year-olds, and parents.

Food for thought at breakfast time!

The Zoom sessions, in your living room, include videos of each chapter, Powerpoint presentations, games, chat, Q&A ,and experiments around the themes (see below)

The experiments use simple equipment from around the home. The language is plain and easy to understand.

Richard Robinson is a best-selling author, and director of the Brighton Science Festival.

The attending adult and participants will be invited to ask questions throughout. Questions and answers are the best bit!



… “Thank you for bringing ‘Are we nearly there yet’ to our science club.  It has been a joy to see the children take a journey into the scientific understanding of how life on Earth began and evolved. It has been explained simply with your engaging story-telling and wonderful imagery. We have been able to explore some complex science and it inspired some creative activities for our club. I am truly grateful for your time and expertise that continues to inspire our young scientific minds here at St Marks!”

Catherine Lewis (Year one teacher and Science co-ordinator at St Marks CE school)

“… We wanted to say a BIG thank you to you! Dexter absolutely loved being part of this epic trek, he really looked forward to each session and was very keen to attend every single week! So glad that we joined you. You made everything fun, interesting and so easy to absorb…”

“…  We have thoroughly enjoyed the journey to being nearly here, thank you always!  We love your unique sense of nuance and humour – inspiring Keya (age 6) and all of our group… “

“…Thanks for including Zak in the science course. He really enjoyed it and the subject (which I don’t think is taught very well at his school) has become much higher profile to him (in spite of years of me trying! ). He is now saying he can’t wait to study science properly at secondary school and wants to be a scientist – so a pretty positive impact I would say!…”

For more evaluations, scroll down below the chapter outlines.

For more information and tickets visit

£13.78* per screen (any number of viewers) for all episodes

*Why £13.78?  because it’s £1 per billion years

“Are we nearly there yet?” is what children say at the end of a long journey. We have been on a very long journey – almost 14 billion years – and there have been many adventures. Are We Nearly Here Yet tells some of the best of them.

You began at the Big Bang, as an atom, and you’ve had a spectacular trip since then: squashed up in a star, exploding all over space, dissolving in acids, roasting in volcanoes, chewing insects, being chewed by dinosaurs… you were a germ, a worm, a fish, a mouse, an ape… surrounded by floods, famines, earthquakes, wars, and now surrounded by family, friends and plastic toys: a survivor!

Scientists have worked it all out, so it’s time to tell it like it is: 14 billion years in 12 chapters, simple enough to be understandable to 9-12 year-olds, detailed enough to be OK for their parents, fun enough to make them laugh, and astonishing enough to make them gawp.




Week 1, chapters 1-2

CHAPTER 1 – You are stardust

The narrative flies through 10 billion years of stars growing and exploding, with you in the middle of them all, changing through the explosions from hydrogen atom to carbon, until you end up, dazed and exhausted, on a giant rock which is too small to become a star (good – nice and safe) spinning round a star which is too small to explode (even safer). The rock is Earth and the star is the Sun.

CHAPTER 2 – Life

Early Earth is almost molten. You are next to a volcano, two miles under water. This is the perfect place to make life, because it’s crazy and chaotic. And so is the thing you become: DNA. You evolve into the first cell; the mother of all cells on the planet – animals, plants, fungi, bacteria and everything. Scientists call you the Last Universal Common Ancestor: LUCA


Week 2, chapters 3-4

CHAPTER 3 – Evolution

You are constantly breaking and re-building your DNA (that’s life), but you are pretty chaotic in the way you rebuild, so your copies tend to be different. That’s evolution. You evolve the power of movement: you are Flagellate.


CHAPTER 4 – Competition

You and your family of flagellates team up with a sheet of cells and together you become the next big thing: multicellular life. The sheet rolls into a tube; your flagella become oars on the outside and villi on the inside. You are now an eating machine. Your new name is Worm.


Week 3, chapters 5-6

CHAPTER 5 – Cooperation

This is a break from the story: the tale of the Portuguese Man’o’war, a fine example of a missing link between single-celled creatures such as you were and the exotic life forms you are about to become.


CHAPTER 6 – Becoming the best You that you can be.

Another explosion: the Cambrian Explosion – an explosion of life. You evolve to become Fish. Everyone else evolves a great desire to eat you. As you try to escape them you stare wistfully at the empty land at the edge of the ocean, and wonder…


Week 4, chapters 7-8

CHAPTER 7 – Life on land

Evolving into a land animal is perhaps the most challenging task, but soon you are Tetrapod. In no time you are once more being hunted; this time by dinosaurs. More evolution turns you into Mammal, so you can be awake during the cold nights, while the dinosaurs are asleep.


CHAPTER 8 – How to Make a Human

Your clever mammalian brain is your secret weapon. Teaming up with other mammals, you combine brains to be come a super-organism: a herd or tribe.  Soon you are Human, ready for adventures.


Week 5, chapters 9-10

CHAPTER 9 – All around the world

In just 100,000 years you spread from a corner of Africa to everywhere, coping with all the different climates and conditions by a mixture of evolution and invention. Then you invent farming: another explosion, this time a foodie explosion of your own making, and the rest is history


CHAPTER 10 – High society

Your tribe has now expanded so much you no longer think of the people around you as family – they are a society, with a common language, costumes etc. Societies join up to make a super-tribe, called a nation. And here you are today, happily immersed in your nationhood. Or are you?


Week 6, chapters 11-12

CHAPTER 11 – You and them

There is a difference between you and the nation you belong to. Your DNA gives you your own set of emotions and opinions, which may not entirely chime with the ways of those around you. This is healthy: as life advances everyone has a critical attitude to the world around them. Societies evolve, just like you did all through your existence.


CHAPTER 12 – Remains of the past.

Your history is written all through you, from the monkey tail at the bottom of your spine, to the coral colony which inhabits your gut. Here you will find an answer for all your oddities: yawning, goose bumps, cancer, viruses, ear waggling, sleep falling, hiccups, white skin, dark skin, Asian eyes, etc.


… “Thank you for bringing ‘Are we nearly there yet’ to our EBC science club.  It has been a joy to see the children take a journey into the scientific understanding of how life on Earth began and evolved. It has been explained simply with your engaging story-telling and wonderful imagery. We have been able to explore some complex science and it inspired some creative activities for our club. I am truly grateful for your time and expertise that continues to inspire our young scientific minds here at St Marks!”

Catherine Lewis (Year one teacher and Science co-ordinator at St Marks CE school)


Thank you for visiting Westdene School for our science week. The idea of the week was to inspire our pupils in science and indeed in stem based learning overall: you certainly  did that satisfactorily, if the whoops and cheers, the eye popping, the gasps and looks of awe are anything to go by that were seen on the children’s faces throughout the week.

The Monday assembly to kick us off, “Are We Nearly Here Yet”, was the story of the whole Universe, told in 45 minutes. It gave us all a structured narrative of how we got here – stars, planets, Earth, volcanoes, life, bacteria, animals, and us – so we can see how we fit into the whole picture. There were so many complex ideas within this. Having looked at some discussion notes, posters, little books that the children completed after this assembly it demonstrated that everyone, from year two to year six including their teachers, learned something out of it. The assembly presented by year 4 on the Friday of science week showed how much they had really understood of this complex idea.

In honesty when I planned the week, I was concerned about the possible attendance for the Wednesday evening parents and children evening as in the past we have offered workshops but this is very limiting in numbers and I was keen to get as many people as possible involved in science week. However, my fears were completely misguided as you entertained so many of our school community (over 200 in all), from reception to year six, to teachers, to parents and grandparents, with a show about gravity which taught us some very important principles in such an entertaining way. I loved that fact that the ideas were simple enough for children and parents to replicate at home rather than it being the usual large bangs and pops which can, I fear , make school science then seem less interesting to the children. The parents were talking about it in the playground on Thursday and Friday and telling the other that they had missed a great evening!

Melinda Stone, head of Science, Westdene Primary School


“Informative  + mindblowing, really well illustrated, but also great storytelling + a fab show. Thank you. I thought it was marvellous, intrepid, funny, very interactive. No insults toward this marvellous adventure into life. It was very informative”.

“It blew my mind! I wouldn’t have known all this stuff if it wasn’t for this talk.”

“Brilliant show. Great answers to questions and great environment where kids felt very able to ask questions. Thank you”.

“Very interesting, funny and knowledgeable. Learnt loads!”

“…you made it great fun for our 7 year-old. Thanks for creating some ‘wonder’ that will spur lots of questions … which we love”.

Thank you so much for coming to inspire the children on Friday- they absolutely loved both the assembly and the workshops. Miss R Beresford
Year 6 Teacher, Science Leader –
Lewes Old Grammar School, 7 King Henry’s, Lewes, BN7 1BX


I found the talk very enlivening and stimulating. The illustrations were very unusual and helped make sense of the words. It was good to talk to Richard afterwards and find out how he had created the visuals. I would never be able to learn about evolution from a book. So, thanks


“Richards talks and illustrations were a superb help in understanding the story of biology and the development of living things.   The combination was very successful.   Also the chapter by chapter format meant there was not too much to take in at once – though the earlier chapters were very big.   It was a revelation really and most enjoyable.”


Richard science family Saturdays club has been an island of normality during this lock down.


We asked to Lola if she wanted to go to the park, she said  ‘after science, I don’t want to miss what’s happens to the cute mousy’


Fun science lecture that our daughter and us enjoyed so much. She  got so engage every session, loves the illustrations and the ‘magic’ activities.


Breakfast  and fun learning every Saturday morning. nnnn


Informative  + mindblowing, really well illustrated, but also great storytelling + a fab show. Thank you. I thought it was marvellous, intrepid, funny, very interactive


Thanks so much for all your wonderful Are We Nearly There Yet? zooms. Christopher has absolutely loved them. … I particularly liked your cartoon molecules at the start!


I loved the Zoom calls and I think that it should be made into a book because I loved the illustrations – they were fun –  and the facts are told in a funny way. I liked that you make the creatures have faces and say funny things. I also loved the activities and I think it would be nice to include them in the book.

Absolutely wonderful. So excited to be able to take part in something like this. Richard has an infectious enthusiasm and manages to make complex ideas relatable and fun

Perfect for my nearly ten year-old girl, who loves making things. We both enjoyed it.


Thank you I love your experiments and find your sense of humour funny. And the way you interact with children is fun. As you may have observed teenagers are less easily interested and basically pick up their questions from their parents. We want to find out more about jellyfish and their feelings and are exploring this through the medium of jelly but not in a wasteful way. I love some of your ideas about expressing the stars moving. Thanks so much and maybe I will see you in the future!


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