Peter Levy (presenter) (born 5 September 1955, Farnborough) is a British television and radio presenter, currently host of the BBC regional news programme Look North, broadcast from Hull to East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
Levy comes from the South West, and attended a secondary modern school in Truro, Cornwall. He did not do well at school, and by his own admission passed few, if any, exams. Levy first came to Yorkshire in his late teens. He was an actor in his teenage years, when he essentially ‚fled‘ home (and Cornwall) to live in London, having secured small roles in shows such as Man About The House, Coronation Street and Z Cars. He admits he „could not believe his luck“ at the time to be working with such attractive female actresses (such as Sally Thomsett) in Man About the House in the mid 1970s. He also appeared in a couple of Leeds pantomimes at this time in supporting roles.
Although wanting to become an airline pilot when younger (he still enjoys flying), Levy was a disc jockey at Bradford’s Pennine Radio (now The Pulse of West Yorkshire) from its launch in 1975 – having been hired by the then television journalist and later Member of Parliament Austin Mitchell. He became a presenter at Liverpool’s Radio City in 1979, starting on the afternoon show before progressing to the ‚drive time‘ slot.
Levy once worked at the same station as controversial talk show host James Whale, formerly of talkSPORT.
He moved to Leeds-based Radio Aire, and then, in January 1987, to the BBC, eventually having a lunchtime show at BBC Radio Leeds. At this time he started as a regular stand-in presenter for the Leeds edition of Look North, always doing the breakfast bulletins.
Look North was broadcast across the whole of the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region at the time Levy started to work on it. He became the regular breakfast and lunchtime presenter of the programme in the mid 1990s. When the BBC split the region into two, Levy moved to present the Hull edition full-time from 11 November 2002.
Levy’s on-screen rapport with weatherman Paul Hudson has made him a popular local figure. The duo visited shopping centres around the region and met the public as part of the 2006 Look North Sofa Tour, this was repeated in 2009. The pair have made public appearances as part of a campaign in the East Riding of Yorkshire’s libraries concerning reading among the under elevens. Levy made reference to this campaign on his radio show.
Levy himself has become a minor cult figure in the local area due to his Look North connection. To some viewers, it is regarded as something of an achievement to have seen Levy, and many call in with reports of sightings, usually of a humorous nature. He has made guest appearances at various night clubs in Kingston upon Hull.
He once controversially said live on air that the man who wrote the book Crap Towns (a book that had Hull as one of the „crappest“) was an idiot and everyone who had been to Hull knew it was a „lovely city“.
From 10 November 2008, he took over the Soapbox slot on BBC Radio Humberside from Blair Jacobs, with a programme from 12 – 2 p.m. called The Peter Levy Show. At 1.55 p.m. each programme, he chats to Paul Hudson. The programme is also now broadcast on BBC Lincolnshire.
Levy has appeared in a Last of the Summer Wine episode called „The Man Who Invented Yorkshire Funny Stuff“ he is also mentioned in episode 6 of series 1 of The League of Gentlemen.
Levy had a relationship with Malandra Burrows, the Emmerdale actress, for three years, albeit some time ago. He was then engaged to a doctor called Clare in Bradford, but the relationship ended after she moved to the Isle of Man. Despite popular rumour, often mentioned in jest, he has not had a relationship with the television celebrity Carol Vorderman. However, he was an acquaintance of Jenny Hill, who has now moved to Look North in Leeds.
He enjoys surfing and bodyboarding in his native Cornwall. Levy is Patron of the Kenneth Williams Appreciation Society; on one edition of Levy’s radio show on Radio Humberside he explained his love of Williams‘ work and comic abilities.
As explained on his radio show recently, Levy owns five cows and keeps them, for part of the year, on Beverley Westwood, an area of common land where many people keep cows during the summer months. His interest in agricultural issues is partly why he has stuck with local news programming over the last few years where such issue have the space to be covered. He is a supporter of the Driffield Show and other country events. His radio show often highlights local farming issues reflecting his personal interests in this area and cattle in particular.
After thirty years of collecting Levy has a respected collection of vintage underwear, mostly pre-1950. Various film and stage directors have made use of items – for the 2007 film Atonement, director Joe Wright called upon Levy’s collection. Recently items from Levy’s collections have been used in the ITV production Downton Abbey – Julian Fellowes first met Levy at a BBC dinner and the two have remained friends.
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