The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures date from 1826 – or at least, I thought they did. Wikipedia lists them as starting in 1825. Mind you, that same page suggests the 2002 lectures were given by Tony Ryan of Ryanair fame, rather than Prof. Anthony Ryan of Sheffield, so perhaps I won’t take it as canonical.
I should probably confess that I haven’t seen the last few series – I pretty much gave up when they invited Kevin Warwick to deliver them – but helpfully for those of us picking up the pieces, Channel 4’s Science site still lists the last three years’ lectures on their front page.
For more about this year’s lectures, the RI have a page which is becoming a little out-of-date; doubtless we’ll update it in due course.