SO where were you when man landed on the moon?

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission has prompted those old enough to recall how it felt watching the remarkable images of that ‘giant leap’ on 1960s TV sets.

An exhibition called Hello Universe, at the National Science and Media Museum from tomorrow, features space-related objects from the collection of Mark Wrigley, now a trustee of the Institute of Physics, who watched the 1969 moon landing as a schoolboy in Sheffield, filming the TV screen with a Super 8 camera.

I was a toddler, more interested in The Clangers, who arrived on TV that year, than the actual moon. The most significant space-related footage I remember was the Challenger disaster in January, 1986. Watching the space shuttle explode just over a minute into its flight, killing all seven crew members, and the shock and confusion of their families looking on, was unlike anything I’d ever seen on TV.

The next time I saw such shock on the faces of onlookers was on September 11, 2001, when a plane flew into the World Trade Center, swiftly followed by another one.

Our recollections of such global moments are inextricably linked with where we were at the time. Where was I when the Twin Towers were attacked? I was interviewing Enid Blyton’s daughter in her lovely country garden. Heading back, the photographer put his car radio on and, as we half listened, it appeared that a light aircraft had accidentally hit a skyscraper in New York. There was no 24-hour news feed on our mobiles back then.

By the time we got to the newsroom, the enormity of it all was unfolding. My colleagues were standing around a TV watching the North Tower collapsing. We tried to process it, through the lens of journalism. But I found myself thinking of my five-month-old nephew, wondering what kind of world he’d come into.

Four years previously I’d stood by a TV in another newsroom, watching the Pont de l’Alma road tunnel in Paris turning into a shrine. Where was I when I heard Princess Diana was dead? In my kitchen washing up, wondering why there was non-stop sad piano music on the radio. A phone call from my news editor, calling me in for an unexpected Sunday shift, soon explained why.

There are other moments, less tumultuous but still significant. I was faffing about in some stables near our east coast static caravan when I heard “Isn’t it awful about Elvis?” from a girl trotting by on her pony. “Yes, it is,” I said solemnly. I had no idea what she meant. I didn’t realise he was dead till I got back to the caravan.

Two decades later I was in a pool in Majorca when I spotted the front page of The Sun someone was reading. I swam over to my friend and declared: “Robbie has left Take That!” It was quite a moment. On July 13, 1985 I was behind the counter of a bakery, probably laying out vanilla slices, when I heard Status Quo getting Live Aid started on the radio. “Why weren’t you there?” my nephew asked recently. “Because I had a Saturday job,” I shrugged.

Those “where were you?” moments came to us via TV, radio and newspapers. Now there’s a ping on our phones for instant world news.

Like Mark Wrigley, many people will remember sitting by the telly in July, 1969, watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. Others remember Live Aid, Diana, New York on a sunny morning. We think of who we were then, where we lived, studied, worked, and who with, at those times when the world stood still.

* IT'S not often I find myself taking sides with Lily Allen, but I felt her pain this week when she whinged about a crying baby on a flight.

The singer posted an Instagram photo of the back of the seat in front of her, claiming a baby there had been "crying for 45 minutes straight" during an easyJet flight to Italy. She was, predictably, called out for her comment, with one follower accusing her of 'mum shaming'.

I've been on flights when babies have bawled continuously and, sorry, but it's really annoying. Apart from the stress it must cause the parents, and the disturbance to other passengers, it's clearly upsetting for the poor infants involved.

Why would anyone put a baby through the distress of flying, unless they really have to?

* LIKE Harry Potter and Love Actually, Ed Sheeran is beloved of just about everyone but me.

He's undoubtedly talented, selling a bewildering number of records, but does he not spread himself too thin? His No.6 Collaborations EP has 15 tracks with the likes of Cardi B, Bruno Mars, Stormzy, Justin Bieber... It's only a matter of time before my cousin's cat is duetting with Ed Sheeran.

He keeps doing naff cameos in films too, like newsreaders tend to. Be more enigmatic, Ed.