Jon Snow 's hidden family life - librarian affair, 27-year age gap and famous cousins
Popular broadcaster Jon Snow , who has had a very colourful love life which has remained off-screen, is quitting Channel 4 News after becoming its longest-running presenter
The popular broadcaster has only been married once, but had a partner for 35 years, was engaged to a colleague and had an affair with a librarian.He also became a father for a third time last month at the age of 73 with his wife, Dr Precious Lunga.This week, it was announced that Jon would be stepping down from Channel 4 News after becoming its longest-running presenter.
"After three incredible decades on Channel 4 News, it is time to move on. I am excited by the many things I want to accomplish but I have to say I have enjoyed every minute of my time with the programme," said Jon."It has brought me adventure, as well as sorrow in some of the stories that I have had to report and also joy in reporting others, but above all, it has brought me community in working with the most fantastic group of people who are bound in intellect, humour and understanding.
"Together, we have forged a wonderful service. I feel proud to have contributed to Channel 4 News let alone to have anchored the programme for the last 32 years. I’m looking forward to new adventures and new challenges."Here is a look at Jon's family life away from our TV screens. headtopics.com
Librarian affair While he was at sixth-form college he had an affair with a librarian nearly twice his age.Jon would sneak off into her car during his lunch breaks while studying at Scarborough Tech.Confessing all to the Evening Standard in 2014, he explained: “I was warned off by my lecturer, who told me I was very unwise to be seen going off in the lunch hour in the librarian’s car.”
In the same interview, Jon also admitted he thinks about sex every time he meets a woman.“Sex comes into every evaluation of a woman, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.“It’s there. Once you’ve established a friendship or a working relationship with a woman, it’s parked. But it’s an interesting barrier. When you’ve gone through it and arrived at the other side, it’s never a problem again.
“Well I’m not saying it is a problem at all, it’s rather a delicious thing really, ‘what might have been?’ or ‘what could be’.”Long-term partner and engagement Before marrying his wife Precious, Jon had actually never been wed before.But he was in a 35-year relationship with human rights lawyer Madeleine Colvin.
The pair had two daughters together, Leila and Freya, met while working as volunteers at a Soho homeless centre.They first dated for seven years until 1979 when he ended the relationship.Just two weeks later, Jon announced he was engaged to one of his ITN colleagues, TV presenter Anna Ford. headtopics.com
However, their romance lasted only four months and he went back to Madeleine.In his autobiography, Jon revealed that the couple lived in separate houses at first and only “co-habited” when he became ITN’s Washington correspondent in 1983.Older children Jon’s eldest daughter from his first marriage, Leila, is aged 37 and used to run a teashop in Highgate, North London.
While his other daughter, Freya, is 34-years-old and a lawyer specialising in social issues."I have an incredibly close relationship with them,” said Jon in an interview with The Guardian in 2016."I don’t dare to give any parenting advice because I don’t pretend to be an expert myself.
"However, I do worry that kids these days are too glued to their electronic devices and I worry about the negative issues that come from that, such as cyberbullying, peer pressure and sexting."We need to go back to basics, reading to children at night, because it’s an invaluable bonding experience and gives them a thirst for learning."
Wife and newborn son Jon has been married to Zimbabwean academic Dr Precious Lunga for 11 years.The epidemiologist and entrepreneur left Zimbabwe when she was 17 to go to university, studying neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh, before completing a PHD at Cambridge in 2003. headtopics.com
Precious had been dedicated in researching HIV and has a seat on the board of the UK Medical Research Council due to her work with UNAIDS Geneva on their research trials for an anti-HIV microbicide.The couple, who has a 27-year age gap, got married in 2010 on the Caribbean island of Mustique.
They tied the knot at the £800 a night Firefly Hotel, where past celebrity guests include Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger and royal Zara Phillips.After keeping his nuptials private, Jon confirmed he was a married man when Lunga accompanied him to the National Portrait Gallery press event as Channel 4 commissioned artist John Keane to create an image of the renowned broadcaster.
In March this year, the couple made the amazing announcement they had welcome a baby boy.In a statement, Jon revealed that the child was carried by a surrogate after "numerous medical setbacks and miscarriagesSpeaking to PA news agency, Jon said: "In our desire to seal our now eleven years of marriage with a baby, my wife suffered numerous medical setbacks and miscarriages.
"Consequently, we will always be deeply grateful to our surrogate, who carried our embryo to term.“Amid these challenging times, we feel doubly blessed to be able to celebrate our good fortune."Famous relatives Jon isn’t the only famous member of his family - as two other Snows are also TV favourites.
His cousin, Peter Snow, is also a radio and TV presenter who hosted Newsnight from the first episode in 1980 until 1997.He is known for his analysis of general election results on ITV and then the BBC from 1980 until 1997.Peter, who is a decade older than Jon, remembers staying at his home and going on holidays together.
“My first memory of Jon is as a three-year-old who was not very talkative but thoughtful. As a self-absorbed 13-year-old I didn’t have a great deal to say to him, but I always found him sweet and funny,” he told The Times in September.He added: “But it wasn’t long before he loved a good debate and nowadays we have endless good-natured arguments.”
The pair went sailing together when Jon was a student and went on to work together as reporters at ITNPeter is also a historian and has presented a number of documentaries - some alongside his son Dan Snow.Dan, who is one of Peter’s six children, followed in his dad’s footsteps as a historian and TV presenter.
The pair have presented shows on the BBC together including 20th Century Battlefields and What Britain Earns, as well as World’s Busiest Railways and Hunting The Nazi Gold Train. Read more: Mirror Celeb »
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