The silence and images will speak loudly’: Overton expecting a day like no other ahead of Queen’s funeral
London: When 9News anchor Peter Overton arrived in London and headed to his broadcast position at St James’ Palace, he was struck by one thing.
“What hit me was the silence,” he told 9news.com.au.
“London is an intense, busy global city. But there seems to be a reverence right now. The only noises you hear are the sirens of the emergency services doing their job. Everything else is silent.”
Overton, who presents the 9News Sydney 6pm bulletin, is in the UK along with colleagues Tracy Grimshaw, Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon for Nine’s coverage of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday.
“As a journalist, you come in and you’re in the moment,” he said.
“You have a job to do. Sometimes, you need to step back and say, you know, we’re part of history here. We are witnessing history.
“I think that people are still processing that she’s gone.
“The woman that we all thought was bulletproof, that would never die, is gone.
“And I think that’s striking people now and that’s why we’re seeing 12-hour queues for people to pay respects to Her Majesty.
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“Just look at Tracy Grimshaw’s reaction when she went to Westminster Hall and saw the Queen lying in state.
“I mean, Tracy has been around a long time. She’s seen some stuff.
“Trace was clearly deeply moved. How could you not be deeply moved when you stop and think about who is lying there?
“It’s not only the Queen. It’s a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother. And I think she’s just remarkable.
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“I look at Charles and I look at Edward. I look at Andrew and I look at Anne.
“I haven’t called them by their official titles because to me, they’re kids.
“People who lost their dad and now they’ve lost their mum. And they are on public display the whole time. That’s what this all boils down to.”
Ahead of tomorrow’s funeral, the father-of-two is all too aware of the responsibility and importance of the event.
“I think it is an honour to be part of the coverage, but it’s daunting as well,” Overton said.
“When it comes to history like this, I think less is more in this.
“I really do. I think silence and the images will speak loudly. They will carry it.
“Sometimes you need to let it breathe, so viewers can respond emotionally to what we’re presenting.
“I think we will all need to sit there and let this momentous occasion, this significant event, sink in.”
Nine’s rolling coverage begins from Buckingham Palace at 5am with Today hosted by Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon, followed by Today Extra hosted by David Campbell and Sylvia Jeffreys at 9.00am.
From midday, Georgie Gardner and David Campbell will mark the end of our longest reigning monarch with three hours of coverage honouring The Queen’s amazing life.
At 3pm Tracy Grimshaw, Peter Overton, Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon will lead Nine’s coverage from Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
Special state-based editions of 9News will be broadcast from 6pm (5.30pm Adelaide, 4pm Perth), before we return to England at 7pm and roll right through the evening, featuring coverage from the BBC headed by the world’s pre-eminent royal expert Huw Edwards live and commercial-free.