I wouldn't consider Brian May to be a 'transcient celeb'. He did co-author 'BANG' with Sir P and Chris, he did return to complete his Phd, he was a long-time friend of Sir P, has been actively involved in promoting astronomy, and is worth about £90 million so I don't think payment would be much of an issue (!). He is alspo very committed and active in several 'causes'
Maybe they could keep the rest of team, as it is now and run it along those lines. Because at the moment it is hard to think of anyone who could come close to replacing Sir Patrick.