Peter Snow (born April 20, 1938) 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.
Jon Snow (born September 28, 1947) is an English journalist and television presenter, currently employed by ITN. He is best known as the longest-running presenter of Channel 4 News, which he has presented since 1989.
After leaving Liverpool in 1970, where he had been reading Law and was expelled for his part in an anti-apartheid student protest, Snow was hired by Lord Longford to direct the New Horizon Youth Centre, a day centre for homeless young people in central London, an organisation with which he has remained involved and of which he subsequently became chairman.
In 1976, Snow reportedly rejected an approach by British intelligence services to spy on his colleagues. At first he was asked to supply information about the Communist Party, but he was then asked to spy on certain “left-wing people” working in television. In return he would have received secret monthly, tax-free payments into his bank account, matching his then salary.
In 1979 Snow was briefly engaged to fellow ITN journalist Anna Ford, ITN’s first female newsreader on News at Ten.
He served as ITN’s Washington correspondent (1983–1986) and as diplomatic editor (1986–1989) before becoming the main presenter of Channel 4 News in 1989. In 1992 he was the main anchor for ITN’s election night programme, broadcast on ITV; he presented the programme alongside Robin Day, Alastair Stewart and Julia Somerville. He has won several RTS Awards – two for reports from El Salvador, one for his reporting of the Kegworth air disaster as well as the 1995 Award for Best Male Presenter and the 1980 Award for TV Journalist of the Year for his coverage of Afghanistan, Iran and the Middle East.
Snow is known for sporting his vast collection of colourful ties and socks.
While working as a journalist in Uganda, he flew alongside President Idi Amin in the presidential jet. He has recounted how whilst Amin appeared to be asleep he thought seriously about taking Amin’s revolver and shooting him dead, but was worried about the consequences of firing a loose round in a jet aircraft.