Welcome to my world: Dan Snow

Written by Rachel on July 25th, 2009

From here:

TELEVISION’S pin-up historian Dan Snow has teamed up with his father Peter and Peter’s cousin Jon to support Prostate Cancer Awareness Month (020 8222 7141, www.prostate-cancer.org.uk).
But when the 30-year-old isn’t posing in his pants, he’s busy traipsing around the country investigating the life of Hadrian, reporting for The One Show and writing his forthcoming book on the Seven Years War. Around 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the UK, and one man dies of the disease every hour.

Describe your perfect weekend.

Sailing off Skye – in good weather.

What would you do if you ruled the world?

Turn the Negev and Death Valley into a giant solar-power complex, impose the Clinton/Barack/Arafat deal on Palestine, build Maglev rail links between everywhere, and standardise plugs.

What one thing would improve your life?

A further fall in property prices.

Who did you last receive a text from and what did it say?

It was from my sister, reminding me of a cousin’s birthday.

What’s your guiltiest pleasure?

Cheesy American soft metal rock; Nickelback etc.

When did you last feel sorry for yourself?

It was bred out of me as a youngster.

What do you wish you’d never done?

Lose the Oxford-Cambridge boat race in 2001.

Would your mother be proud of you?

Of course. Show me a mother who isn’t proud of her son.

Who would you like to say sorry to?

Rick. For my open-ended “borrowing” of his Band of Brothers DVDs.

What is your earliest memory?

The Falklands War victory parade.

Who does the cleaning in your house?

Maria. I tidy, she cleans.

On what purchase have you spent most, apart from a car or property?

I chartered a yacht for two weeks in Thailand when I turned 30, and invited all my friends. It was worth it at twice the price.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?

With my family, embarrassment has ceased to have any meaning. Public nudity and social faux pas are the norm.

Who would play you in the movie of your life?

Daniel Day-Lewis – he’s my favourite actor and has an appropriately large chin and nose.

Should you vote? If yes, how did you vote?

Of course you should vote. I have voted for three different parties in my short electoral life.

What worries you in the wee small hours?

Nothing. I sleep like a dead man.

When were you last naked in front of another person?

Too long ago. I’m always on the road filming.

When did you lose your virginity?

Later than I would have liked.

Who was your favourite teacher and why?

Keith Perry, a man who attempted to temper my enthusiasm for history with some intellectual rigour.

What song is the theme tune to your life?

‘Slide Away’ by Oasis.

Have you had any prostate cancer scares?

No, I’ve not had any scares myself. Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, but I think it’s really important that all men, whatever age, are aware of the disease.

What are the signs men should look out for that might indicate the disease?

Prostate cancer is quite complex. It can cause similar symptoms to non-cancerous prostate problems, and some men with the disease may have no symptoms at all. Signs may include a weak flow, needing to take a pee more often, especially at night, a feeling that your bladder has not emptied properly and difficulty starting to pass urine.

Is this something you would be happy discussing with your mates?

Yes. I agreed to back Prostate Cancer Awareness Month as I was particularly interested in making men of my age aware that if your father or brother has been diagnosed with the disease you could have an increased risk of developing it yourself. Men often shy away from talking about health in general, but since prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, we all need to be open to talking about it and know the signs and symptoms to look out for.


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