The 5-minute Interview: Peter Snow, Journalist and broadcaster

'People think I'm always running around the house'
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Peter Snow, 69, has presented the ITN news, and, for the BBC, 'Newsnight', 'Tomorrow's World' and the Radio 4 quiz 'Master-team'. Until 2005 he ran the 'swingometer' on general election nights, first on ITN then on BBC. He also presented 'Battlefield Britain' with his son, Dan. An Audience with Peter and Dan Snow is at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, tomorrow.

I passed on the Swingometer torch because ...

In 2005 it seemed to me I should pass the job of covering general election results live on to someone younger. That doesn't mean I will give up presenting explanations of great events and using graphics to do it.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be ...

Getting ready to go for a sail across the Channel with a friend to France. My family and I are going to charter a large yacht and cross the strait of Georgia. Dan is a vital member of the team. We took our yacht across the Atlantic together in 2001.

A phrase I use far too often ...

"Wonderful weather". For those who understand, it means that I wonder if I really believe what a person is saying.

I wish people would take more notice of ...

Life. To value it and enjoy it. Too many people go around worrying about too many things when they should lighten up if possible. The other thing I would say is learning and getting out and doing things.

The most surprising thing to happen to me was ...

When I was in a plane crash in Washington state of America while filming for Tomorrow's World. Most planes don't fall out of the sky, but this one did. It came down in some trees in Seattle. The tailplane came off, the fuselage slammed down on to the ground but the plane was slowed down by the branches. We were all very lucky.

A common misperception of me is ...

I suspect people think I am a maniacal character always running round the house. I am extremely anxious not to waste time. I am over-energetic, but it's all for a purpose. I'm obsessed with getting things done which probably makes people think I am over-frenetic. I am actually very controlled and programmed. It is the people around me who are moving too slow.

I am not a politician but ...

I greatly admire what they do and sympathise with the way they are lambasted in the press – although some deserve to be taken to the cleaners.

I'm good at ...

Communicating complicated subjects to people.

I'm very bad at ...

Relaxing.

The ideal night out is ...

Good theatre provided I am very close to the front of the stalls so I can hear every word.

You know me as a TV journalist but I may also have been ...

Probably a model railway enthusiast. I'm a journalist. Writing and reading and learning is my trade.

The best age to be is ...

Of course 69 which I am now. It's wonderfully satisfying. You have grandchildren coming along and you know what you like doing.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:

Learn something new every day.

Sara Newman

Comments