Entertainment & Arts

Queen's Coronation announcer Sylvia Peters dies

Sylvia Peters
Image caption Sylvia Peters returned to the BBC in 2013 to introduce a remastered version of the Coronation

Sylvia Peters, who introduced the first televised coronation and helped the Queen prepare for her first Christmas broadcast, has died at the age of 90.

Peters, who joined the BBC in 1947, was the continuity announcer on 2 June 1953 and opened by saying it was a "great and joyous day for us all".

Four years later, she recorded a training film for the Queen to help her prepare for her first Yuletide message.

She was also one of the first hosts of the ballroom competition, Come Dancing.

Peters left the BBC in 1958 but later returned to present a remastered version of the Coronation coverage in 2013.

Image caption Peters joined the BBC as an announcer in 1947 after answering a newspaper advert

She worked as an actress in musicals before joining the BBC and was one of a team of three announcers at the time of the coronation, alongside Mary Malcolm and McDonald Hobley.

She was the youngest of the three and is believed to have been chosen to present the coverage because at 28, she was closest to the age of the Queen.

Image caption Peters had to learn a script for the Coronation coverage

Speaking in 2013, she said the coverage had been "quite magical" and a "turning point" for television.

"We didn't have many viewers [but] the coronation just made television, and everyone wanted one after that."

After leaving the BBC she worked sporadically in TV, appearing in an episode of the '70s comedy Sykes, while running a dress shop.

She returned to screens in the 1980s as a presenter on Channel 4's series for older viewers, Years Ahead, and as an announcer during the BBC's celebration of 50 years of broadcasting in 1986.

Image caption Peters was reintroduced to the Queen at BBC Broadcasting House in 2013

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