LITTLE BLUE

‘Father of Viagra’ gets knighthood

The man who calls himself the “father of Viagra,” the drug used to treat erectile disfunction, joined the ranks of Brits knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Dr Simon Campbell received the knighthood “for services to Chemistry” in the annual New Year’s Honours, according to the official list of awards, placing him in the same elite company as Sir Elton John and Sir Richard Branson.

And many today are surely grateful for his services, especially the little blue pill that went on sale in 1998.

Campbell doesn’t want to be called the inventor of Viagra as he is “not on the patent,” he told the BBC. He worded his achievements perfectly, however: “If you want, I would say I was the father of Viagra because I laid the seed and started the project.”

Viagra came about as a result of a side effect, when one of the drugs for high blood pressure Campbell was working on proved to help with blood flow to the penis.

Campbell had a long career at pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, where he helped develop medication for high blood pressure, angina and prostate enlargement.

A real-life mad scientist, Martyn Polyakoff, professor at the University of Nottingham, was also knighted in the New Year’s Honours. He’s a leading researcher in the field of sustainable and green chemistry, but better known as a YouTube star. Polyakoff, with his crazy, gray hair is the face of the popular “Periodic Table of Videos” YouTube series.

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