Snow refused ‘boring’ BBC news role

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Published: Tuesday 24th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Broadcaster Jon Snow has told how he turned down a job presenting the BBC news – and said that Evan Davis is “going to need a bit of time to bed in at Newsnight”.

Davis’ predecessor Jeremy Paxman has joined Channel 4 to helm the station’s general election coverage.

Channel 4 News host Snow told Radio Times magazine: “I admire old Paxo. I thought it was a real coup. I was thrilled. He is the very best thing that’s ever come along.

“We’re not mates, but we’re perfectly friendly. He’s part of the national iconography.”

Asked if he preferred Paxman to his successor Davis on Newsnight, Snow said: “I’ve very high regard for Evan Davis. He’s certainly very good on the radio … He’s going to need a bit of time to bed in at Newsnight.”

Snow said that he was asked to work for the BBC around 20 years ago.

“I’m a maverick, a rebel. I question everything. Because I work at Channel 4, I have no fixed points to prevent me asking anything. I couldn’t do those things at the BBC,” he said.

“They’ve only ever asked me once, 20 years ago. They wanted me to anchor the One O’Clock News. It wasn’t remotely difficult to turn them down – it was an incredibly boring programme.”

Snow, alongside ex-MP Matthew Parris and former royal correspondent Jennie Bond, recently took part in a trial to examine the effects on the brain of two different forms of cannabis – skunk and hash – compared to a placebo.

The 67-year-old said: “It was so incredibly appalling, so horrendous, that I struggle even to describe it. I took the skunk in vapour form, not knowing what it was. I lost all control. It was devastating and the paranoia was overwhelming. You hear me describe that my soul had been wrenched from my body. There were no people in my life. I didn’t know who I was.

“When I was a student, I smoked the odd spliff six or seven times and felt mildly mellow. My only other previous experience of drugs was at a party where, unknown to me, a strawberry flan was laced with LSD. That was a bad experience, but nothing like as bad as this, because of the paranoia and the complete robbery of ‘me’ during the period I was stoned.

“Skunk is an entirely different part of the cannabis family to resin. For me, as an experience, it had no relationship to cannabis at all. It was utterly shocking. I would never, ever touch it again.”

Snow made the headlines when he was quoted as saying that he thinks about sex whenever he meets a woman for the first time.

The broadcaster said that he was misquoted.

“What I said was that every time a man meets a woman he hasn’t met before, the thought goes through his mind: ‘Do I fancy her?’ That is a fact. Is she attractive? Is she someone I would like to spend time with? Then that thought is parked and gone,” Snow said.

“None of my female colleagues ever mentioned it. They just thought it was typical Jon. My wife? She would be oblivious to it. I do not think about sex every time I meet a new woman. That’s absolute crap. But heavens… What is the species? You’re a woman, I’m a man.”

Published: Tuesday 24th February 2015 by The News Editor

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