Peter Levy’s most memorable Christmas is the one which didn’t occur.
“I used to be going to see my sister on Christmas Eve and was catching the one practice to Cornwall from Sheffield,” he defined.
“I used to be standing on Sheffield station at about 10am and delay after delay after delay was being introduced; then the practice received cancelled.”
Unprecedented rainfall and flooding over nice swathes of the nation, together with Devon and Cornwall, referred to as a halt to many individuals’s probabilities of a Christmas getaway that yr.
The favored BBC Look North (East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire) presenter was amongst them.
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“I used to be standing in the course of the station with my suitcase and a bag filled with presents and I assumed, I’ll have to show spherical and return to Hull,” he stated.
“I bumped into the M&S on the station to get some meals – I didn’t assume there could be time once I received again to purchase something – and was at residence by myself on Christmas Day.”
Not a typical Christmas, then, for Peter, who would usually spend Christmas Day in Hull celebrating together with his buddies and companion, and the entire of Boxing Day within the automobile driving to Cornwall to be together with his sister and brother-in-law, earlier than taking a couple of well-earned days of relaxation away from the newsroom.
“It’s a really, very lengthy drive to Cornwall – even on a Boxing Day, when there’s no visitors, it nonetheless takes endlessly.
“Once I get there, it’s a completely completely different setting and it’s definitely hotter down there – final Christmas I used to be on the seaside in my shirt sleeves consuming a pasty.
“I don’t take a lot vacation from the BBC however I all the time take every week to 10 days between Christmas and New 12 months.”
That Christmas spent in isolation would possibly effectively have ready Peter for the approaching festivities, or lack of, relying on what the most recent guidelines surrounding Covid-19 might be.
“The restrictions could be relaxed for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, maybe, who is aware of? I might be in my flat in Hull if I’ve to be, it’s very troublesome for individuals,” he stated.
“I all the time spend New 12 months’s Eve in, I believe lots of people this yr might be very, very glad to see the again of 2020; it has been horrible for therefore many.
“I’ve been one of many fortunate ones in having the ability to proceed working from an workplace each day, I actually really feel for individuals who have been working from residence.
“Some are feeling lonely; some are apprehensive that they received’t be seeing any extra work and they’re having to cope with the whole lot whereas taking care of the children and the canine.”
So if he’s caught in his Victoria Dock flat for the festive season, will he be effectively stocked up with provisions and can they embrace a tin of Spam?
“I’ve ALWAYS received Spam within the cabinet,” stated Peter, who has been ribbed mercilessly since revealing to viewers the contents of his kitchen cabinet throughout lockdown earlier this yr.
“We have been fairly laborious up once I lived with my mum as a child and there have been issues that have been staples within the kitchen – egg and chips, Spam and chips – and I’ve all the time preferred Spam.
“For Christmas, I actually, actually love panettone. I’ve one already that I picked up in Aldi and there might be a couple of extra.
“I actually love mulled punch, too, heated up with a slice of orange or lemon in it, it’s completely beautiful, particularly after coming in from a freezing chilly stroll – and you may get a bottle for about £2.99.”
One factor Peter, who began out as an actor earlier than turning into a radio and TV broadcaster, will miss this Christmas goes to see a pantomime – final yr he noticed reveals in Hull, Bridlington, Grimsby and Lincoln.
“I believe it’s dreadfully unhappy that there might be no pantomimes this yr and I’m much more unhappy for the individuals whose livelihoods depend upon them. I simply hope all of them survive.”
Previously few years, Peter has been requested to file a playlist of Christmas music for native radio and enjoys having the ability to choose his festive favourites.
“A few years in the past I had the Phil Spector album, it was THE album for Christmas. Winter Wonderland and Sleigh Experience have all the time been my favourites.
“I really like Christmas music and I really like Christmas, I simply don’t prefer it to start out on August Financial institution Vacation.”
Trying to 2021, Peter, who might be coming into his 46 yr in broadcasting, stated: “From a private viewpoint, my hope might be for persevering with good well being; as you grow old (he’s 65) there’s all the time that fear.
“And from the nation’s viewpoint, I hope that issues settle down and we get again to some normality. So many individuals have had such a torrid time this yr, there are those that have misplaced their jobs and people who have been wired the entire time.
“Relying on who you take heed to, there could possibly be a vaccine prepared as quickly as Christmas or within the early a part of the brand new yr.
“Let’s hope that these people who find themselves doing wonderful work, inside a really brief window of time in comparison with regular, can give you a vaccine.”
Peter has an enormous following of followers who commonly activate for his 6.30pm and 10.30pm information bulletins
Every week, greater than two million individuals tune in to Look North in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, however the programme has been breaking information over the previous six months of the pandemic. The BBC’s 6.30pm information bulletin has commonly been probably the most watched of any programme on TV, Coronation Road included, in latest occasions.
Viewers benefit from the banter between Peter and weatherman Paul Hudson, who, regardless of the jibes, is a good good friend of the presenter.
“Paul is my finest mate, I’ve recognized him for 25 years.
“He’s a stunning man, and so intelligent. He can act the idiot however he is a good climatologist, a really effectively learn and educated man. It’s a pleasure working with him.”
Peter loves Hull and is all the time in its nook when detrimental issues are being stated concerning the metropolis. In return, its residents have taken Peter to their hearts.
“I’ve by no means lived anyplace the place I’ve felt extra at residence than I do in Hull.
“Over the previous 18 years (he turned the principle information anchor for the brand new BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire area in 2002) individuals have been so form to me, they’ve made my life comfortable by embracing me and made my job pleasing.
“There’s this Look North Mate merchandise that folks have been arising with – these are guys of their 20s, not somebody my age – and it’s so pretty.
“Then there was this younger girl referred to as Emily who received a tattoo of my face on her leg. When it went on TV and within the papers, she received a little bit of grief from individuals however she didn’t care, she stated she was comfortable and happy with it; she was such a pleasant girl.”
Peter is commonly approached on the street by individuals who wish to chat or share their woes.
“We had a brand new boss be part of us about ten years in the past and I used to be strolling by way of Hull with him and all these individuals have been coming as much as converse to me. He’d labored with Eamonn Holmes and stated nobody had ever stopped him to speak, they simply stared.”
One of many issues that endears Peter to individuals is his willingness to participate in a charity stunt or two – he agreed to be dunked in a wheelie bin filled with freezing chilly water for BBC Kids in Want.
He additionally challenged Hull boxer Luke Campbell to a bout and did a tandem bike journey with climate presenter Abbie Dewhurst for a similar trigger.
However he attracts the road at something to do with heights.
“When it was the twenty fifth anniversary of the Humber Bridge, they wished me to go up one of many towers to do a bit to digicam and I needed to say no.
“I undergo from vertigo and don’t like heights in any respect. I don’t know what it stems from however there was an event once I was very small, about 4 or 5 years previous, and I used to be crossing a footbridge over a river with my mum and my sister in a pram, and proper in entrance of us, somebody was struck by lightning.
“I can keep in mind it so effectively and to today, I don’t like lightning, or going out when it’s lightning.”
Peter, who revived the appearing abilities of his youth for appearances in Nonetheless Open All Hours, needed to conquer his nerves when he was provided a job in Hull author Derren Litten’s comedy sequence, Scarborough.
“It was a bit cameo piece within the remaining episode and I used to be completely thrilled – I’m an enormous fan of Derren and I really like his sitcom Benidorm – however I used to be terrified, as a result of we have been filming in an actual pub with all these actors like Claire Sweeney and Jake Canuso.
“Derren gave me some suggestions and received me by way of it.”