Published On: Wed, Oct 2nd, 2019

Peter Sissons, former BBC and ITN newsreader, dies aged 77 | UK News



The former BBC and ITN newsreader Peter Sissons has died at the age of 77, his agent has said.

Knight Ayton management said in a statement: “We are sad to announce that Peter Sissons, the former presenter on ITN, Channel 4 and the BBC, died peacefully last night in Maidstone Hospital, Kent.

“His wife and three children were with him and wish to pass on their thanks to the hospital staff who were so caring and fought gallantly to save him to the end.”

Born in Liverpool in 1942, he joined ITN in 1964 after graduating from Oxford University, where he studied philosophy, politics and economics, and was appointed news editor in 1969.

The year before, he was wounded by gunfire while reporting from Biafra (now Nigeria).

He moved into presenting in 1978 by anchoring ITN’s News At One before replacing the legendary Sir Robin Day as host of the BBC’s flagship Question Time and joint presenter of the Six O’Clock News in 1989.

A switch to presenting the Nine O’Clock News came in 1994 and he stayed with the programme until it moved to its new time of 10pm.

In 2002, he was criticised for wearing a burgundy-coloured tie when breaking the news of the Queen Mother’s death, rather than the customary black.

He retired from broadcasting in 2009 and was considered at the time to be one of the UK’s longest-serving news presenters.

Two years later, in his autobiography he criticised the BBC for what he saw as its left-wing bias.

Fellow newsreader and BBC journalist Simon McCoy was among those paying tribute, writing on Twitter that he was “a great journalist and a fine presenter at ITN and the BBC. #RIP”.

Piers Morgan described him as a “splendidly combative & amusing man”.

Twitter users posted pictures of the young Sissons with two of the Beatles and legendary Liverpool comedian Jimmy Tarbuck.

In 2011, he told the Daily Mail: “John Lennon was in the year above me and George Harrison in the year below [at school]. I reminisced with George when I met him a couple of years before he died.”

Paul McCartney later joined him at grammar school.

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