There was an interesting program on ITV last night called The Shot That Shook The World about photographs of historic moments.


Mesmeric, tragic, horrific and yet somehow those images are always compelling. I guess this was the JFK moment for my generation where everyone can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing.

I was working for a small Internet company and a colleague was idly surfing and memorably announced ‘A plane has just hit the World Trade Centre’. The internet soon ground to a halt and we watched the tragedy unfold on portable TV in disbelief.

I remember early editions of an English newspaper carried photographs of two people holding hands jumping to their deaths that were subsequently pulled when they realised that this was real people in real life with real mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters.


The Brazil goal against Italy in the 1970 World Cup. My favourite goal of all time. The way Pele flicks the ball to Carlos Alberto. Pure art.

Moon Landing (1969)

I remember the whole school being assembled in the hall to watch these grainy images on a black and white TV.

Challenger disaster

I visited the Kennedy Centre a few years ago and there is a nice, simple, understated black memorial to all the astronauts who have lost their lives during the space program. Ironically, one was killed in a car crash.

Concorde crash

Interesting as this footage was shot by a member of the public from a moving car. This is much more prevalent now with the widespread use camera phones which provided almost immediate access to photos of the London bombings in July 2005.


This wasn’t actually featured but those photographs on the front page of The Independent newspaper of ordinary people dying, squashed against the railings in the Leppings Lane terrace at a football match in Sheffield had a big effect on me.