Jon Snow: Channel 4 News looks back at career of newsreader
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Channel 4’s Jon Snow, 73, believes viewers were more interested in what was going on behind him while he worked form home during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Having been confined to his house like many UK residents his age, the anchor wondered if his bookshelf had become more interesting than the news of the day.
The day I moved Byzantium four inches to the left created mayhem on my Twitter feed
In a new interview, Jon revealed his wife Precious Lunga’s nephew was able to make a smooth transition that saw the presenter host the show from the comfort of his living room and appear on Channel 4 News seamlessly.
“While I wrestled with the facts and the isolation, some viewers became almost more interested in the bookshelf behind me,” he said of his wide array of cultural tomes.
The self-confessed supporter of the arts had a book about the Byzantium exhibition at the Royal Academy in 2008, but he realised it had quite the impact on fans.
“The day I moved Byzantium four inches to the left created mayhem on my Twitter feed,” he chuckled.
“So I put it back.
“Then someone spotted a book that was back to front.”
He added: “It wasn’t, it was my over-used Moro cookbook whose cover had disintegrated.
Despite slowly getting back to some form of normality, Jon looked back on the challenges the past year and a half brought on all of us.
“None of us knew what to do – and that included the Government and the media,” he shrugged, also referencing the desperate plea for PPE for NHS workers.
The journalist continued: “We had no template for the outbreak or for how to cover it, although we recognised that the media would be on the front line for so many who were yearning for information.
“For most of us, it was virgin territory.”
But the pandemic also gave him a lot to think about, in a social sense.
Jon stated that during his “incarceration”, he began to see the pandemic in social terms.
“I began to realise that the map of the outbreak in Britain matched almost completely the map of inequality,” he pointed out to Radio Times.
“Most of us battling to cover the pandemic became aware that few of us knew anyone close to us who had actually caught the virus.”
He revealed how desperate he was to get back to the office to create a visual graphic that would drop the map of the pandemic on top of the map of poverty in Britain, certain it would match.
“We don’t know the pandemic’s future but whatever happens,” he said, “I believe we will all be changed and forced to think about how we are to live and thrive together.”
Jon’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.
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