‘Highbrow heart-throb’ Dan Snow honoured for services to history

Programme Name: n/a - TX: 20100101 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:   - (C) BBC - Photographer: Andrew Hayes-Watkins
Programme Name: n/a - TX: 20100101 - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: - (C) BBC - Photographer: Andrew Hayes-Watkins

Presenter Dan Snow has been described as a “highbrow heart-throb”, and is a favourite among history enthusiasts and mums.

In the last 17 years the broadcaster and historian has become well known for programmes such as Battlefield Britain, Dan Snow’s Norman Walks and Filthy Cities, and has now been made an MBE for services to history in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

But he did not initially plan for a career on screen.

Lady Edwina Grosvenor and Dan Snow
Lady Edwina Grosvenor and Dan Snow arrive at St George’s Chapel, Windsor for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Ian West/PA)

Snow was in born in London in December 1978 to presenter Peter Snow and Canadian broadcaster Ann MacMillan, and his well-known relatives include Jon Snow and former prime minister David Lloyd George.

He attended school in London then followed in his father’s footsteps and went to Oxford, rowing three times in the Boat Race and graduating with a first class degree in modern history.

However, while his parents were known for their television endeavours, Snow had other ideas at first.

When he graduated from Balliol College he spent a few months working at a software company before having a change of heart.

His background beckoned and soon afterwards Snow presented his first history show with his father, a BBC special on the battles of El Alamein.

He later told the Mirror: “We laughed, we fought, it was an intense experience, but also a great privilege.”

The programme proved to be something of a springboard and the father-son duo went on to present documentary series Battlefield Britain, which picked up a Bafta craft award.

Several more history programmes followed, covering everything from the reign of the Aztec emperor Moctezuma II to the Terracotta Army.

Other highlights over the years include travelling down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon to recreate John Wesley Powell’s 1869 trip, and travelling through Syria and Democratic Republic of Congo to make programmes.

In 2015, Snow presented a live-streamed broadcast from the Mary Rose warship.

The historian, 40, has also been on several radio programmes and has published books such as Battlefield Britain and The World’s Greatest Twentieth Century Battlefields.

He also has the UK’s most successful history podcast, Dan Snow’s History Hit, which has almost a million listens every month.

An atheist, Snow is a patron of Humanists UK.

“I am humanist because none of the faiths have produced any reliable evidence for me to be anything else.

“My study of history has convinced me that man has invented God, not the other way around,” he said in 2014.

In 2010 Snow married criminologist Lady Edwina Grosvenor and the couple have three children.


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