A TRUST established in memory of a Red Arrows pilot has been backed by a stellar new patron.

Physicist and former pop star Professor Brian Cox has lent his support to the Jon Egging Trust, which was founded in 2011 following the death of its namesake during the Bournemouth Air Festival.

The presenter, who now hosts science programmes for the BBC, has been hailed as an “ideal role model and inspirational figure” by the charity.

He will join Air Vice Marshal Stuart Atha as the trust’s second patron.

Jon’s wife Dr Emma Egging, who co-founded the trust, said: “I am so pleased to welcome Professor Brian Cox to the Jon Egging Trust team as our patron.

“Inspiration is at the heart of everything the Jon Egging Trust does. With the help of Professor Cox we really can show our young people that they too can reach for the stars.”

The charity was set up to realise the pilot’s dream of helping young people to overcome adversity, identify their strengths and work towards their ambitions in life.

Within the next two years, it will be operating in nine different counties across the UK.

Dr Egging added: “By 2020, we aim to be offering life-changing opportunities though our Blue Skies youth programmes to thousands of young people every year.”

Professor Cox said: “I am delighted to become a patron and I strongly support the amazing work the charity does to help young people move forward in their lives.

“Inspiring and enthusing the next generation to be the best they can be is something I’m passionate about.

“I believe that the worlds of aviation, engineering and science together can do that.

“I look forward to helping the trust to expand nationwide and reach as many young people as possible.”