Dan Snow

Dan Snow

Snow at Crac des Chevaliers
Born Daniel Robert Snow
(1978-12-03) 3 December 1978
London, England, UK
Residence London
Nationality British
Education Modern History
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
Occupation Broadcaster and historian
Spouse(s) Lady Edwina Grosvenor (m. 2010)
Children 2
Parent(s) Peter Snow;
Ann MacMillan

Daniel Robert "Dan" Snow (born 3 December 1978) is a British television presenter, who presents history programmes for the BBC and other broadcasters and has a history slot on The One Show.[1]

Early life and background

Dan Snow is the youngest son of Peter Snow, BBC television journalist, and Canadian Ann MacMillan, managing editor emeritus of CBC's London Bureau; thus he holds dual British-Canadian citizenship.[2] Through his mother, he is the nephew of Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan and also a great-great-grandson of British Prime Minister David Lloyd George.[3] One of his father's cousins is the Channel 4 news reporter Jon Snow and his paternal great-grandfather (Peter and Jon's grandfather) was Sir Thomas D'Oyly Snow, a British infantry general during World War I.


Snow was educated in London at Westfield Primary School now Barnes Primary and at St Paul's School where he was Captain of School and rowed for its VIII.

He went up to Balliol College, Oxford,[4] his father's alma mater, and graduated with first-class honours in Modern History (M.A.).[3][5]

A keen rower since his secondary school days, he won the U-23 men's division at the 2000 British Indoor Rowing Championships[6] and rowed three times in the Boat Race, winning in 2000 and losing the controversial 2001 Boat Race when President.[7][8]


Snow presented his first programme in October 2002 just after graduating from university, co-presenting the BBC's 60th anniversary special on the Battles of El Alamein with his father Peter.[9] Father and son then collaborated to present an 8-part documentary series called Battlefield Britain, which aired in 2004 winning a BAFTA Craft Award for special effects. The same year Snow won a Sony award as one of the presenters on the LBC Boat Race coverage.

He has made some history programmes for the BBC. He also presents on many of the state occasions such as the 200th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Trafalgar, Beating Retreat 2006, the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two, the 90th anniversary of the Armistice in November 2008, Trooping the Colour and the Lord Mayor's Show. Snow again collaborated with his father to present BBC 2's 20th Century Battlefields and its print edition, which were both well received.[10] The series covers battles all around the world and is presented in similar fashion to the first Battlefield Britain which was broadcast in various markets in 2006 and is available on DVD. The second series can also be viewed on the Military Channel.

In June 2008, Snow was in a three-part series called Britain's Lost World on BBC One. Along with Kate Humble and Steve Backshall, he stayed on the island of St Kilda, Scotland, to find out more about its history and wildlife. In the television programme My Family at War he explored the role of his great-grandfather General Sir Thomas D'Oyly Snow, who commanded the VII Corps on the first day on the Somme in World War I.

In November 2011 Snow teamed up with the Irish Army to fire a British or Canadian-made Browning Mark II (or a Mk. II* variant) .303" machinegun which he had excavated from a Spitfire that had crashed in Donegal while being flown by Bud Wolfe. Despite having lain in a peat bog for 70 years the machine gun fired without a hitch after careful cleaning and with fresh ammunition.[11]

On 8 December 2012, Snow co-presented Rome's Lost Empire with Dr. Sarah Parcak, a space archaeologist from University of Alabama at Birmingham (U.A.B.).

In late 2012 Snow embarked on a promotional tour for his new book Battle Castles: 500 Years of Knights and Siege Warfare,[12] which was published in conjunction with a 6-part documentary he had presented for the History Channel. In early 2013, he presented a programme on the history of railways on BBC Two, called "Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways".

In the summer of 2013 Snow was part of a team with eight others down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in period-correct boats recreating the epic trip by John Wesley Powell through uncharted territory and rapids in 1869. Other British team members accompanied by American experts were Mike Dilger and Sam Willis. The footage, narrated by Dougray Scott, became Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow which was broadcast on BBC Two in January 2014.

Snow has also travelled through war zones in Congo and Syria to make programmes about the historical context of those conflicts. These were shown on BBC2 in 2013. Snow has released award winning apps, the Timeline series, which include the Number 1 selling Reference app, TimelineWW2. He attracted criticism for saying in 2012 that ‘apps are simply a better vehicle than books’.

On 7 May 2015 Snow presented the online alternative election night broadcast unelection.[13][14]

On 27 November 2015 Snow presented a live-streamed Periscope broadcast from The Mary Rose. Gaining exclusive access to the 'hot-box' conservation structure, Snow and his team were the first people, excluding museum staff to inspect the hull of the ship. The broadcast was featured by Periscope[15] and at the time of writing has received in excess of one hundred thousand views. Snow's team pioneered the multi-camera live Periscope, inviting viewers to switch between live-streams.

Personal life

On 27 November 2010, Snow married the criminologist and philanthropist Lady Edwina Grosvenor,[16][17] second daughter of the 6th Duke of Westminster.[18] Their daughter Zia was born in 2011 (named after Zia Wernher)[19] and their son Wolf Robert in 2014,[20] and they have another daughter Orla born after Wolf.[21]

On 18 April 2010 Snow and a few friends took three rigid-hulled inflatable boats from Dover to Calais to help people return to Britain after they were stranded in France by the air travel disruption after the Icelandic eruption. When they arrived at Calais they were told by the French authorities to fous le camp ("get lost"). He did manage to get 25 people back but was unable to return for more.[22]

In August 2011, Snow chased a group of rioters through Notting Hill in west London before tackling and performing a citizen’s arrest on a looter who was fleeing from a shoe shop.[23][24]

Snow serves as President of the Council for British Archaeology.[25] As an atheist and a humanist, he is a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association, an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society and a member of the Royal Historical Society. He is also an advocate for political reform, being the Electoral Reform Society’s first ambassador. He played a central part in the United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum, 2011; after he released a successful viral video, the campaign used a version of it, featuring Snow, as their final Referendum Broadcast.

In August 2014, Snow was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to that referendum.[26]

Allegations of nepotism

Given his relationship with Peter Snow and Jon Snow, allegations of nepotism are frequently levelled at Snow. Snow has previously acknowledged the allegations and has argued that "there's nothing I can do about that".[27] Jon Snow has acknowledged that his own career may have started as it did due to nepotism.[28]



Year Work Channel Notes
2002 El Alamein BBC Two 60th anniversary special of the Battle of El Alamein.
Co-presented with Peter Snow.[9]
2004 Battlefield Britain BBC Two Won - 2004 BAFTA Craft Awards (Visual Effects).[29]
2005 Trafalgar 200 BBC Two Co-presented with Neil Oliver.[30]
2006 Shipwreck: Ark Royal BBC One
2007 20th Century Battlefields BBC Two Co-presented with Peter Snow.
Edwardian Winners and Losers BBC Four [31]
In Living Memory BBC One [32]
2008 What Britain Earns BBC Two Co-presented with Peter Snow.[33]
Britain's Lost World BBC One Co-presented with Kate Humble and Steve Backshall.[34]
Hadrian BBC Two
BBC Wales
Won - 2009 BAFTA Cymru (Best Presenter).[35]
50 Things You Need To Know About British History History Channel
My Family At War BBC One [36]
2009 Grouchy Young Men Comedy Central Cameo (pilot only).
Montezuma BBC Two
2010 Empire of the Seas: How the Navy Forged the Modern World BBC Two
Battle for North America BBC Two [37]
Little Ships BBC Two [38]
Dan Snow's Norman Walks BBC Four
How the Celts Saved Britain BBC Four [40]
2011 Filthy Cities BBC Two
China's Terracotta Army BBC One [41]
National Treasures Live BBC One
2012 Dig WW2 with Dan Snow BBC One Northern Ireland
History Channel
Three-part series investigating stories of World War II battlegrounds through excavations and dives.[42]
Battle Castle History Channel
Discovery Channel
Rome's Lost Empire BBC One
2013 Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways BBC Two Three-part series exploring the history of rail transport in Great Britain from its beginnings in the 18th century until the World War II.[43]
A History of Syria with Dan Snow BBC Two This World episode exploring Syria's complex past and the roots of the current crisis.[44]
The Dambusters: 70 Years On BBC Two Episode marking the 70th anniversary of the Dambuster raids, presenting veterans accounts of the events.[45]
D-Day: The Last Heroes BBC One Two-part series exploring the story of the D-Day landings planning and execution through the accounts of surviving veterans.[46]
Dan Snow's History of Congo BBC Two This World episode exploring Congo's history of slavery, colonialism, endemic corruption and war.[47]
Airport Live BBC Two Originally intended to be one of the presenters, but was unable to because of family reasons; involved in pre-recorded clips.
2014 Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow BBC Two Two-part series recreating John Wesley Powell's 1869 trip of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, where a team of nine men in period-correct boats and equipment navigates the canyon's 280 miles of river.[48]
Dan Snow’s History of the Winter Olympics BBC Two Episode exploring the 20th and 21st centuries political upheaval impact at the 90 years of the Winter Olympic Games.[49]
The Birth of Empire: The East India Company BBC Two Two-part series exploring the story of the East India Company and how it changed British lifestyle, creating an empire and today's global trading systems.[50]
2015 Armada: 12 Days to Save England BBC Two Three-part series exploring the story of the Spanish Armada using discovered documents and computer-generated imagery.[51]
World’s Busiest Railway 2015 BBC Two Four-part series, exploring the science, systems and staff at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai.
Co-presented with Anita Rani and Robert Llewellyn.[52]
2016 The Vikings Uncovered BBC One 90 minutes episode exploring the Vikings expansion to the west and uncovering new settlements.[53]
New York: America's Busiest City BBC Two 3x60 minutes episode exploring New York City, co-presented with Anita Rani, Ant Anstead and Ade Adepitan
Hunting the Nazi Gold Train BBC Two 60 minute episode exploring Project Riese, Schloss Fürstenstein and the search for the "Nazi gold train".
Operation Gold Rush BBC Two 3x60 minute episodes exploring the Klondike gold rush.





See also


  1. The One Show
  2. Debrett's People of Today
  3. 1 2 "Dan Snow: History Boy". The Independent. 26 July 2008.
  4. "Balliol College Annual Record 2001". balliol.ox.ac.uk.
  5. "Dan Snow: The historian who's not attached to the past". The Independent. 2 May 2011.
  6. "Rowing: Cracknell refuses to crack indoors". Daily Telegraph. 27 November 2000.
  7. "Boat Race crews evenly matched". BBC Sport. 21 March 2001.
  8. "Cambridge win dramatic Boat Race". BBC Sport. 24 March 2001.
  9. 1 2 "Battleplan: El Alamein". BBC. 17 October 2002.
  10. "An audience with Peter and Dan Snow". BBC. 12 November 2007.
  11. "Spitfire redux: The WWII guns firing after 70 years buried in peat". BBC News. 10 November 2011.
  12. "Battle Castles Book". Discovery UK.
  13. "Unelection Web Site".
  14. "Lots Of Snow Forecast for a special mobile broadcast". The i newspaper. 5 May 2015. p. 10.
  15. "Mary Rose Museum on Twitter".
  16. Kay, Richard (30 November 2010). "Dan Snow and Duke Of Westminster's daughter wed in secret". The Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  17. "Flintshire". Flintshirechronicle.co.uk. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  18. Mosley, Charles (ed.) (2003). Burke's Peerage & Baronetage, 107th edn. London: Burke's Peerage & Gentry Ltd. p. 4131 (WESTMINSTER, D). ISBN 0-9711966-2-1.
  19. Kay, Richard (20 October 2011). "Dame Vera's surprising engagement". Daily Mail. London.
  20. "Lady Edwina Grosvenor". Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  21. www.thepeerage.com
  22. "Presenter Dan Snow's bid to rescue tourists halted". BBC. 18 April 2010.
  23. Myers, Rupert (2011-08-09). "A legal guide to citizen's arrest". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-02-04.
  24. "TV presenter Dan Snow 'sat on a looter' in London riot". BBC News UK. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  25. www.new.archaeologyuk.org
  26. "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". theguardian.com. 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  27. "Snow: Heart-throb label won't last - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  28. "Jon Snow: "I'm really a reporter. I'm actually a rather poor presenter"". RadioTimes. Retrieved 2016-04-10.
  29. "CRAFT NOMINATIONS 2004". BAFTA. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008.
  30. "BBC TV commemorates Trafalgar 200 with a bang". BBC. 5 October 2005.
  31. Edwardian Winners and Losers. BBC Four.
  32. In Living Memory. BBC One.
  33. "Telegraph pick: What Britain Earns (BBC2)". Daily Telegraph. 10 January 2008.
  34. Britain's Lost World. BBC One.
  35. "BBC Wales' 11 Bafta Cymru winners". BBC News. 11 May 2009.
  36. "My Family at War, Episode 1". BBC One. 2008.
  37. Battle for North America. BBC Two.
  38. "Last Night's TV: Little Ships, BBC2 / Pulse, BBC3". The Independent. 4 June 2010.
  39. Dan Snow's Norman Walks. BBC Four.
  40. How the Celts Saved Britain. BBC Four.
  41. China's Terracotta Army. BBC One.
  42. "Dig WW2 with Dan Snow". BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  43. "Locomotion: Dan Snow's History of Railways". BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  44. "A History of Syria with Dan Snow". BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  45. "The Dambusters: 70 Years On". BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  46. "D-Day: The Last Heroes". BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  47. "Dan Snow's History of Congo". BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  48. "Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow". BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  49. "Dan Snow's History of the Winter Olympics". BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  50. "The Birth of Empire: The East India Company". BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  51. "Armada: 12 Days to Save England". BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  52. "World's Busiest Railway 2015". BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  53. "The Vikings Uncovered". BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2016.

External links

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