The birth name of Peter Sissons, Peter George Sissons, was born on 17 July 1942 at Smithdown Road Hospital, Liverpool, England to George Robert Percival Sissons, the merchant navy officer, and his wife Elsie.
He was a television reporter who, between 1993 and 2003, was the BBC newsreader representing BBC Nine O’Clock News, BBC Ten O’Clock News, and Question Time program for BBC, but before that he was a newscaster for ITN presenting news on ITV and Channel 4.
The former ITN and BBC News Presenter passed away peacefully at Maidstone Hospital, Kent, at the age of 77, according to his agent.
Sissons enrolled with some famous people like John Lennon and Jimmy Tarbuck at the Dovedale Junior School where he passed the 11-plus and joined the Liverpool Institute for Boys between 1953 and 1961.
He studied at University College, Oxford, where he was the University College Players ‘ Treasurer after finishing high school.
Wife (Sylvia Sissons) and Children’s
Sissons married Sylvia Sissons in 1965 and they had three kids, one of whom is an actress, Kate. Sissons lived in Sevenoaks, Kent, and on the island of Barbados also had a second home.
In June 1989, Sissons left ITN to join the BBC, taking over from Sir Robin Day as Question Time’s presenter. He persisted until he was accompanied by David Dimbleby in December 1993. He has worked for ITN, Channel 4 News, and BBC News, hosting the BBC Nine O’Clock News and the Ten O’Clock News. In January 2003, he was removed from that position. In reaction to his choice to remove him from the newsletter, Sissons allegedly accused the BBC of ageism.
Sissons subsequently presented weekend afternoons on BBC News, the 24-hour rolling news channel of the corporation, although he still appeared occasionally on the Ten O’Clock News when Huw Edwards, Fiona Bruce, and Darren Jordon were unavailable until 2004. The substitute for Andrew Marr’s BBC One program The Andrew Marr Show when it was off-air during the summer, Sissons also submitted News 24 Sunday. He also submitted weekend newsletters on BBC One occasionally
Sissons entered ITN in 1964, working his way up to the journalist’s position. While covering the Biafran War in Nigeria in 1968, he was injured by shooting, sustaining serious nerve damage in his left leg. He became the Industrial Editor of ITN after recovering from his wounds, covering many high-profile industrial disputes over the 1970s.
In 1976, in alternation with Leonard Parkin, Sissons entered the list of presenters of ITN’s lunchtime News at One Bulletin.
The first edition of Channel 4 News was presented by Sissons in 1982. In 1983 and 1987, he also co-presented ITN’s election night programs and stayed on the program for seven years, anchoring the only debate during the Miners ‘ Strike between National Union of Mineworkers leader Arthur Scargill and National Coal Board chief Ian MacGregor. He was also the presenter in December 1988 on the night of the Lockerbie bombing. In early 1989, as part of the reaction surrounding the publication of The Satanic Verses, Sissons received a death threat following his interview with an Iranian representative, with the fatwa covering Salman Rushdie extended to cover him as well.
In 2011, when One Door Closes it reflected his former employer— the left-minded BBC, he released his autobiography. He said BBC News had a bias towards New Labor, the UN, the European Union, environmental organizations, Islam, ethnic minorities, and females. He said, “I am in no doubt that the majority of BBC employees vote for left-wing political parties.” Sissons also identified the associated bias of the BBC towards the Independent and Guardian journals, saying that manufacturers regularly refer to them for the row of running tales and the inspiration on which things to cover.
Sissons was an honorary fellow at Liverpool John Moores University and delivered a lecture on the town of Liverpool on 19 June 2008. He was a fan of the Liverpool Football Club and a member of the Hillsborough Independent Panel Inquiry into the catastrophe in Hillsborough.
Sissons announced his intention to retire in the summer after a 45-year career to write his memoirs on 12 June 2009.
A statement from Knight Ayton management said: “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.”
Tributes to ‘The Excellent Journalist’ and ‘The Good Presenter’
In a declaration, BBC Chief Executive Tony Hall said
“Peter Sissons was one of the great television figures of his time – as an interviewer, presenter and world-class journalist.
“During his distinguished career he was one of the most recognisable and well-respected faces of television news.
“He was always a great person to be with and to work with. He will be missed by his many friends and colleagues, and our thoughts are with his family.”
Among those who paid homage was BBC journalist Simon McCoy who wrote on Twitter
“Very sorry to hear of the death of former colleague Peter Sissons. A great journalist and a fine presenter at ITN and the BBC. RIP.”
Very sad to hear of death of Peter Sissons, at relatively young age of 77. He was superb TV reporter, & pioneer presenter of ITV News at One, & first in-depth news on C4, brilliant at conducting short studio interviews with people in power. BBC never made best of Peter’s talents