April 20: Broadcaster Peter Snow is 80 today

Peter_SnowPeter Snow is a British radio and television presenter and historian, best known as an analyst of election results. Snow is the cousin of Jon Snow, the presenter of Channel 4 News, and the father of fellow TV presenter Dan Snow.

Snow was a foreign correspondent, Defence and Diplomatic Correspondent, and occasional newscaster for Britain’s Independent Television News (ITN). He also appeared as an election analyst and co-presenter of ITN’s General Election programmes throughout the late 1960s and 1970s. He gained a much higher profile after he was recruited in 1979 to be the main presenter of the new late evening BBC 2 in-depth news programme Newsnight, which began in January 1980.

Snow took over responsibility for in-depth statistical analyses of the election results at the BBC in 1983, and became largely associated with the famous BBC “Swingometer” when it was reinstated in 1992. He is known for his somewhat excitable style of presentation and ever-more elaborate props and graphics, though perhaps his most famous prop was the most basic – a sandpit which he used to illustrate the progress of the First Gulf War in early 1991.

He left Newsnight in 1997 and presented Tomorrow’s World (with Philippa Forrester). At the Royal Television Society in 1998 Snow won the Judges’ Award for services to broadcasting.

Snow survived a plane crash in 1999 when the aircraft in which he was a passenger hit trees during a film project for the BBC.

Also born this day…​

Comic actor, Leslie Phillips (1924)

Yes, Minister co-creator, Antony Jay (1930-2016)

Star Trek‘s Lt Sulu, George Takei (1937)

“Poetry in Motion” singer, Johnny Tillotson (1939)

Mr Benn narrator, Ray Brooks (1939)

American actor, Ryan O’Neal (1941)

Dempsey & Makepeace actor, Michael Brandon (1945)

American actress, Jessica Lange (1949)

Broadcaster, Paul Heiney (1949)

Doctor Who‘s Leela, Louise Jameson (1951)

American soul singer, Luther Vandross (1951-2005)

Gentle Ben actor, Clint Howard (1959)

Only Fools and Horses‘ Rodney Trotter, Nicholas Lyndhurst (1961)

Baywatch‘s Carmen Electra (1972)

Blossom‘s TV brother, Joey Lawrence (1976)

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