In 1962 he joined ITN as a script-writer and reporter and began newscasting the same year. He was appointed Diplomatic and Defence Correspondent in 1966, and for the next decade reported from all round the world. In 1970 he wrote ''Leila's Hijack War'' with a journalist colleague, David Phillips, - a fast paper back telling the story of the international crisis that was caused by the Palestinian guerrillas who hijacked three airliners and blew them up on a desert airstrip. In 1972 he wrote the Biography of King Hussein of Jordan.
He also covered elections and other live political programmes for ITN until he left in 1979 to join the BBC. There he was one of the first presenters of NEWSNIGHT when it began in January 1980, and went on to cover elections and other live political events for the BBC until 2005. He left Newsnight to present TOMORROW'S WORLD in 1997. He presented it until 2001 with filming trips to America, Europe, Japan and New Zealand. In 2001 and 2002, he was involved in a range of BBC programmes - hosting the America's Cup programme for BBC sport, ''The Abyss'' for BBC Natural History, and ''What the World thinks of America'' for BBC News. In 2002, he made a programme for BBC 2 with his son, Dan, a historian, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Alamein Battleplan. This led to them both presenting two further series on BBC2 ''Battlefield Britain'', 8 battles from Boudicca to the Battle of Britain, aired in 2004, and ''20th Century Battlefields'' in the summer of 2007. Both series are accompanied by books of the same title published by BBC Books. In the summer of 2008 Dan and Peter presented a Radio 4 series on the Duke of Wellington's campaigns against Napoleon. Dan and Peter also presented Whose Britain is it anyway?, the story of the ownership of Britain's countryside, in 2006, What makes Britain rich? in early 2007, and What Britain earns in Jan 2008. Peter has presented Mastermind, Masterteam and Brain of Britain, quiz games, on Radio 4, and Random Edition, a review of the newspapers from a day in history chosen at random. Peter's most recent television appearance was in the BBC2 series Maestro, in which eight people competed to conduct an orchestra at the Promenade Concert in the Park. At the Royal Television Society in 1998 he won the Judges' Award for services to broadcasting.
Peter is married to Ann MacMillan of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He has six children, three sons and three daughters. He enjoys sailing, skiing, and model railways.