Peter Mansbridge marks 25 years today as host and chief correspondent of The National, CBC's flagship nightly news and current affairs program, with fond recollections of how it all began and how so much has changed since he first walked into the studio in Toronto.

"Talk about being a witness to history," Mansbridge writes in an online blog for CBC. "I've been lucky enough to see it all, in many cases first hand, always with the most professional team of journalists I know of anywhere, at my side."

Mansbridge, who was born in London, England, began his career at CBC in 1968 in Churchill, Man., where he helped develop CBC Radio's news service to Northern Canada. In 1971, he moved to Winnipeg as a reporter for CBC Radio, and a year later, he joined CBC Television.

Mansbridge became The National's reporter in Saskatchewan in 1975, and, in 1976, was named one of the program's parliamentary correspondents in Ottawa.  


Mansbridge gets a hug from Anna Maria Tremonti, the host of CBC Radio's The Current. (Josh Kolm/CBC)

At the helm of The National since 1988, Mansbridge has covered five prime ministers and big stories such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the disintegration of the Soviet Union, various wars, tsunamis and other natural disasters, royal weddings and deaths, seven U.S. presidential elections, various popes, and the growth of the internet, smartphones and social media.

"That night 25 years ago when I walked into the studio for the first time as THE anchor, I was nervous, but I was also excited," recalls Mansbridge.


The CBC’s George Stroumboulopoutos shakes hands with Mansbridge in the broadcast centre atrium. (John Rieti/CBC)

"I love the news. Always have. As a kid sitting around the dinner table with my parents, brother and sister arguing about the events of the day, to my 20 years as a reporter in the field, to the past 25 hosting the National. No day is boring.

"No wonder I can't wait for the next 25," he jokes.