IF there was a huge surge currently in the number of students taking forensic science at university I wouldn’t be at all surprised.

I’d put the reason largely at the door of TV which boasts a couple of excellent American series about forensics but, most especially, the British TV series Silent Witness can take much of the credit.

It has been on our screens since 1996 and is now in its 20th series.

Amanda Burton was the original female character so pivotal in its crime stories around forensic science and pathology and Emilia Fox succeeded her in 2004 to become its longest-serving actor.

The whole series is not only well-written with well-conceived, contemporary storylines but also the forensic parts are very realistic, often gruesomely so.

Its appeal lies in all those elements, as well as believable and impressive central characters, plus the clever unravelling of evidence by the cool, intelligent experts.

So it’s no wonder that its intricacies and unusual knowledge appeal to young people and may influence career choices.