Jon Snow bows out of Channel 4 News after 32 yearson December 23, 2021 at 8:20 pm

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The long-serving 74-year-old’s last show is described as “an emotional one for the whole newsroom”.

The Channel 4 News team on Jon Snow's last day

Image source, Channel 4 News

Jon Snow has presented his final edition of Channel 4 News after 32 years at the helm of the programme.

The 74-year-old, one of the UK’s longest-serving TV news presenters, described the role as the “greatest privilege of my life”.

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was among those who paid tribute to Snow, calling him a “British institution”.

After a clip featuring some of his best moments, Snow was cheered out of the newsroom by his colleagues.

Co-presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy described Snow as “the most energetic, enthusiastic, committed and questioning TV journalist, who brought compassion and humanity to his reporting whether in the studio, war or disaster zone”.

He added: “It is no wonder viewers love him or that politicians who get angry with his questions respect him. His last day has been an emotional one for the whole newsroom. We knew it was coming, but can’t quite believe it’s happening now.”

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Cathy Newman, another Channel 4 News presenter, wrote on Twitter that appearing alongside Snow had been “the privilege of my life”.

The programme’s editor Ben De Pear said: “It’s been an honour for all of us to work with Jon, not just for his outstanding journalism but because he’s a wonderful person and friend and example to all of us as to how to report a story and also care about what it means.

“He’s the heart and soul of Channel 4 News and we all love him.”

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When Snow’s departure was announced in April, Channel 4 said Snow would now “front longer-form projects… and represent the channel in other matters”.

He will now “focus on his charities and some of his many passions in life, people’s stories, inequality, Africa, Iran and the arts”, according to the channel.

Snow joined Channel 4 News after serving as ITN’s Washington correspondent and diplomatic editor in the 1980s.

As well as being a fixture in the nightly programme’s London studio, the job has taken him around the world to report on stories including the fall of the Berlin Wall, the release of Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The programme has won 10 Bafta TV awards during his tenure, while Snow received Bafta’s Richard Dimbleby Award for the best factual contribution to television in 2005, and the Bafta Fellowship – the organisation’s highest accolade – in 2015.

His other honours include 10 Royal Television Society awards, including six for presenter of the year.

Jon Snow

Image source, PA Media

Speaking about the response to his journalism over the years, Snow told The Media Show: “Because I’m tall and have funny ties, people are terribly nice to me in the street and you get this feedback and that’s wonderful.

“You do get a sense of why people watch and it’s not just me, we’re a team, and we’re different from other options. Obviously I’m going to miss that.”

Snow’s last show featured tributes from a range of high-profile figures, including former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald, Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.

Mr Brown described him as a “British institution” while Sir Trevor said Snow “wanted to be where the story was every time – every day, every week”.

Mrs Sturgeon said Snow’s absence would leave a “massive hole”, and Mr Rees-Mogg described the broadcaster as a “completely fair” interviewer, adding “you knew you had to be on your toes with Jon”.

Bowing out of his last programme, Snow described his role as the “greatest privilege of my life” before he was cheered out of the newsroom by colleagues.

The BBC’s chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet shared a photo of herself and Jon Snow on Twitter.

The photo shows Doucet and a team of colleagues, dressed in safety gear in Gaza, with a smiling Snow: “JonsnowC4 stopped us – “an all-women team!” He asked for a photo .. or was it us asking him? #JonSnow,”

BBC economics editor Faisal Islam, who previously worked with Snow at Channel 4 News, tweeted that his former colleague was a “simply superb colleague, fearless & relentless interrogator of truth”.

Piers Morgan added his tribute on Twitter, writing: “You’ve been a consistently brilliant news broadcaster, and aside from the ludicrous ties, and dodgy helmets, a lot of fun too. Congrats on a great run.”

The programme’s remaining team of presenters includes Guru-Murthy, Newman, Matt Frei and Jackie Long.

In 2018, Snow took a 25% cut to his salary to help reduce the gender pay gap.

In March, he revealed he had become a father for the third time.

Snow told BBC Radio 4’s Media Show last week that his departure would be “like leaving a marriage”.

“You’re all interdependent in so many ways in the workplace, and you see each other day after day, week after week, year after year,” he said.

“Obviously it’s a big wrench.”

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