Like the rest of the world, Seven News anchor Ann Sanders was shocked to learn of Princess Diana’s tragic death.
Only 10 months before that fateful car crash in Paris, Ann had met the radiant royal at a charity event on what was to be her last official visit to Sydney.
Suddenly, the popular broadcaster was flying halfway around the globe to report on Britain’s overwhelming grief at the loss of the woman they loved as the People’s Princess.
Broadcasting in the cold outside Buckingham Palace, she witnessed first-hand the hundreds of thousands of people who openly shared their despair amid an ever-growing sea of memorial flowers.
Those unforgettable images – and Ann’s recollections of the many world-shattering events she has covered – will be highlighted in an unmissable 10:1 Countdown Our Greatest News Events special to be screened on Channel Seven, tonight at 8:40PM.
Packed with never-before-seen archival footage and compelling accounts from journalists who were there, the special Seven News documentary counts down the 10 world-defining events of the past six decades, as judged by a panel of Australia’s top academics.
Ann recounts covering many stories and news events during her time with Seven, including the Port Arthur massacre, the devastating Thredbo landslide, the Sydney Olympics, 9/11 and the Lindt cafe siege, to name a few.
‘I was involved with the live broadcast during the week of the Thredbo landslide when the country held its breath,’ Ann says. ‘Day after day, we stood in freezing conditions, desperately worried there would be no survivors – until miraculously, there was one man brought alive out of the rubble. It was a privilege to witness the selfless work of the rescuers and how the whole community pulled together.’
The one story that most moved Ann was a trip to Chernobyl in 1990 to report on the nuclear reactor disaster. Her reports inspired massive fund-raising appeals in Australia, helping the many children stricken with cancer as a result of the radiation fall-out, and their families.
‘Looking back at 60 years of TV news, who would’ve thought it would be such a central part of our lives,’ ponders Ann, who started more than 35 years ago at Channel Seven in Perth.
‘It’s unbeatable for drawing people together, sharing epic events and showing how the miracle of our communications will never wear off.’