Peter Snow

Image:Peter snow headshot.jpg



Brain of Britain

Maestro (participant)

Mastermind (radio)



Born in Dublin in 1938, Snow was brought up in Libya for part of his childhood, before becoming an ITN newscaster, then jumping to the BBC in 1980, where he has found fame ever since. He presented Newsnight for seventeen years, on which programme he used a sandpit to demonstrate troop movements in the First Gulf War. He also presented Tomorrow's World for a spell.

He is most fondly known for fronting the increasingly impressive (and silly) computer graphics used as part of the BBC's election night coverage, including Robert McKenzie's famous Swingometer. In 2005, he announced that he would be standing down from this role, as he would be over 70 at the next election.


He is the cousin of Jon Snow, who presented Channel 4 News from 1989 to 2021, and the father of historian Dan Snow. With Dan, he has presented two history series for BBC2, Battlefield Britain in 2004 and 20th Century Battlefields in 2007 - both of which re-enacted famous battles by means of computer graphics, among other things.

He survived a plane crash in Washington state, USA on 1st October 1999.

Around that period, Snow tried out a driverless car on Tomorrow's World: he felt safe enough during light traffic, but became visibly and audibly unsettled in heavier traffic, feeling that he needed to take the wheel himself (mind you, who wouldn't in a situation like that?)

He once auditioned for the part of James Bond.

In a programme celebrating "Newsnight"'s 20th anniversary, Snow revealed that his worst moment on the programme was on an edition in 1984, when he interviewed Arthur Scargill regarding the notorious miners' strike. Scargill had produced a report on the subject and he vehemently referred to it to state his case. Snow tried to argue his own point, but was eventually forced to admit that he hadn't actually read the full report, therefore he couldn't ultimately make his point. Not that it affected him or his reputation much, if at all, but it was nevertheless a very uncomfortable and embarrassing experience for him.

His wife, Ann MacMillan, a journalist, and her sister, the historian Margaret MacMillan, are both great-granddaughters of the former Prime Minister David Lloyd-George.

Web links

Wikipedia entry

IMDb entry


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