Stephen Hawking was best known for his extraordinary mind and inspiring people to look beyond our planet and better understand the universe.

But the brilliant physicist also had a wicked sense of humour.

From spinning on the dance floor in his wheelchair to a party he threw for time travellers, Sky News takes a look at some of the more unusual stories from Professor Hawking’s remarkable life:

Stephen Hawking will be remembered for his humour as well as his scientific insight
Stephen Hawking will be remembered for his humour as well as his scientific insight

He once “drove over Prince Charles’ toes in his wheelchair”

Biographer Kitty Ferguson wrote in her 2013 book “Stephen Hawking: Unfettered Mind” that the professor enjoyed weaponising his wheelchair, and targeted the toes of those who annoyed him.

Hawking is alleged to have rolled over Prince Charles’ feet at an event to celebrate His Royal Highness’ induction to the Royal Society.

Mrs Ferguson wrote: “The Prince was intrigued by Hawking’s wheelchair, and Hawking, twirling it around to demonstrate its capabilities, carelessly ran over Prince Charles’s toes.”

She continued: “People who annoyed him, it was said, found themselves a target.”

Mrs Ferguson added: “One of Hawking’s regrets in life was not having an opportunity to run over Margaret Thatcher’s toes.”

Hawking’s driving-style and dance moves are the stuff of legend

The young Oxford student had to use crutches after his initial diagnosis in 1963 and long-resisted the use of a wheelchair.

When he finally did succumb to four wheels, he later developed a reputation for his wild driving style through the streets of Cambridge where he worked at the university.

Rumours circulated that he would deliberately run over students’ toes, and he was said to be no stranger to a spin on the dancefloor.

A genius take on One Direction

After a talk he delivered at the Sydney Opera House he was asked by an audience member about the “cosmological effect of Zayn Malik leaving One Direction”.

Hawking replied: “Finally, a question about something important.

“My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay close attention to the study of theoretical physics. Because one day there may well be proof of multiple universes.

“It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another different universe. And in that universe Zayn is still in One Direction.

“This girl may like to note that in another possible universe she and Zayn are happily married.”

He threw a party for time travellers

Professor Hawking once carried out an “experiment” to prove that time travel is not possible by hosting a party for… time travellers.

The professor’s point was proven when nobody turned up.

He said after hosting: “I have experimental evidence that time travel is not possible.

“I gave a party for time-travellers, but I didn’t send out the invitations until after the party.

“I sat there a long time, but no one came.”

The scientist’s take on the importance of humour

Stephen Hawking told the New York Times in 2004 that “life would be tragic if it weren’t funny”.

He told a documentary in 2013: “Keeping an active mind has been vital to my survival, as has maintaining a sense of humour.”

A Brexit gag

During ITV’s Pride of Britain Awards in 2016, Professor Hawking told Theresa May: “I deal in tough mathematical questions every day, but please don’t ask me to help with Brexit.”

Hawking later said it would be a “terrible mistake” to ignore the populism behind the votes for Brexit and Donald Trump.

The professor liked a flutter.. and he didn’t always back a winner

Stephen Hawking placed a bet with US physicist Kip Thorne in 1975 that the cosmic ray source Cygnus X-1 was not a black hole.

He conceded that he had lost the argument 15 years later and agreed to pay Thorne the wager – a four-year subscription to the US men’s magazine Penthouse.

Hawking had requested a four-year subscription to the satire magazine Private Eye if he was the winner.

He joined forces with Thorne in 1997 to bet against the physicist John Preskill on the outcome of the “black hole information” paradox.

The pair claimed that general relativity made it impossible for black holes to lose information, while Mr Preskill argued the opposite.

Prof Hawking announced in 2004 that he was conceding the bet and agreed to pay Mr Preskill the wager, which was an encyclopedia of his choice.

Mr Preskill opted for a copy of “Total Baseball: The Ultimate Baseball Encyclopedia”.

Professor Hawking also lost $100 to Professor Gordon Kane of the University of Michigan in 2012 after betting him that the Higgs Boson would not be discovered.

Lapdance clubs and the “mystery of women”

Prof Hawking was accused of sexism and of being a mysognist after he visited a Stringfellows lap-dancing club in 2003.

When asked what he thinks about most during the day, he replied: “Women. They are a complete mystery.”

The Simpsons, Star Trek and a very different Big Bang Theory

The physicist appeared on The Simpsons a handful times, at one time praising Homer’s theory of a “donut-shaped” universe as “intriguing” and adding he “may have to steal it”.

The professor also helped explain black holes to Bart and punched Principal Skinner before flying away in a helicopter.

He famously appeared on the US sitcom The Bang Bang Theory, when he delivered the put-down: “What do Sheldon Cooper and a black hole have in common? They both suck.”

He appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation where he played poker with Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein.

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When Hawking had a beer with Homer

Professor Hawking turned into a Transformer in the UK sketch show Little Britain and killed carer Lou, played by David Walliams.

He also made several appearances in the comedy Futurama, and in one episode teamed up with the former US presidential candidate Al Gore to protect the space-time continuum.

In a sketch for Red Nose Day he embarked on a quest to find A-list celebrities who could replace his famous computerised voice.

Liam Neeson, Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson all auditioned to be his new voice in the hilarious clip.

Professor Hawking was unimpressed with the candidates and in the end decided to go with Michael Caine.

On aliens

The professor famously said of extra-terrestiral life: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

A dig at Trump?

When asked if he was the most intelligent person in the world, he replied: “I would never claim this. People who boast about their IQ are losers.”

US President Donald Trump has bragged publicly about his IQ on more than one occasion.

Stephen Hawking helped make physics accessible

Stephen Hawking dies peacefully at home

The professor and the Pope

He once revealed that Pope John Paul II had tried to discourage him and other scientists from attending a cosmology conference at the Vatican.

The professor later joked at a lecture in Hong Kong that he refrained form telling the Pope he had already delivered his own thoughts on how the universe was created at the conference.

He said: “I didn’t fancy the thought of being handed over to the inquisition like Galileo.”

Late night humour

Last Week Tonight host John Oliver sat down with Prof Hawking for an interview in 2014.

John Oliver asked: “You’ve stated that there could be an infinite number of parallel universes.

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“Does that mean there’s a universe out there where I am smarter than you?”

Prof Hawking replied: “Yes. And also a universe where you’re funny.”