Q&A: Dan Snow, historian

Written by Rachel on July 5th, 2009

From here:

Dan Snow, 26, is a historian and the son of journalist Peter Snow. He was in the winning crew in the 2000 Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race, and captained the Oxford team the following year. Last year, he presented Battlefield Britain on BBC2 with his father and co-authored the accompanying book. He is working on a new series and book about world battles.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Scudding along at eight knots, 750 miles south-west of the Canary Islands, bound for the Caribbean. My family as crewmates, fishing line in the water and Sibelius on the stereo.

What is your greatest fear?

Not having kids.

Which living person do you most admire?

Dr Kim Dae-Jung, former president of South Korea. He risked his life to introduce real democracy and has worked tirelessly to bring about reconciliation in the peninsula’s conflict.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Leaving everything till the last minute.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Feeling sorry for themselves.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Loud shirts and plane tickets.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

The gigantic nose-chin combo.

Who would play you in a movie of your life?

Someone with a Hapsburg nose and chin.

What is your most unappealing habit?

When I’m asleep, I kick, shout and grind my teeth.

What is your favourite word?


Radiator or air conditioning?

Stiff breeze.

Cat or dog?

Dog, and not one of them scrawny little ones.

What do you owe your parents?

Absolutely everything.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

‘One more before closing?’

When and where were you happiest?

I was 19 years old and a hiking guide in a provincial park in the Canadian Rockies. School was finished for ever, it was the hottest summer on record, and an English accent in a long-haired guide was strangely popular.

Have you ever had a same-sex experience?

Does wanting to kiss Wayne Rooney during Euro 2004 count?


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