Tributes after veteran newsreader Peter Sissons dies, aged 77

News Broadcaster Peter Sissons poses for a portrait at the Oxford Literary Festival on 9 April, 2011. (David Levenson/Getty Images)

The much-loved broadcaster Peter Sissons has died at the age of 77.

He presented the BBC’s Nine O'Clock and Ten O'Clock News between 1993 and 2003. He also worked as a newscaster for ITN and Channel 4.

Sissons presented Question Time from June 1989 to December 1993 when he was replaced by David Dimbleby. He retired from the BBC in 2009.

Several of the broadcaster's colleagues have paid tribute, with BBC News presenter Simon McCoy hailing him as “a great journalist and a fine presenter”.

ITV News' Chris Choi wrote: "Great sadness here at ITN at the death of Peter Sissons who worked here from 1964, he was Industrial Editor in the 1970s and then presenter of News at One."

Born in Liverpool on 17 July, 1942, Sissons attended the same junior school as John Lennon and Jimmy Tarbuck, and later studied alongside George Harrison and Paul McCartney at the Liverpool Institute for Boys from 1953 to1961.

Peter Sissons and Fiona Bruce with her award for best TV newscaster/reporter during the 2006 Television and Radio Industries Club Awards. (Steve Parsons - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

He joined ITN as a journalist in 1964 after reading politics, philosophy and economics at University College, Oxford, and made his screen reporting debut in 1967. He was appointed ITN News Editor in 1969, its Industrial Correspondent in 1970, and Industrial Editor in 1972.

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In 1978, Sissons made his newsreading debut on ITN’s News At One, and in 1982 became the first presenter of the ITN-produced Channel 4 News. In 1989, Sissons joined the BBC as presenter of the Six O’Clock News and host of Question Time.

He became the presenter of the BBC’s flagship news programme the Nine O’Clock News in 1994, and continued when it became the Ten O’Clock News in 2000.

In 1999, Sissons was on duty when the BBC reported the murder of presenter Jill Dando.

He became the centre of a tabloid storm in April 2002 when he wore a burgundy tie while announcing the death of the Queen Mother, instead of a black one.

In 2003 Sissons was moved to BBC News 24, and he retired from the BBC in 2009.

Speaking in 2009, the broadcaster was critical of the changing atmosphere at the Beeb. “The culture has changed enormously from when I started in news, and I think you do become more uncomfortable with new things happening around you,” he said.

“I think if I am absolutely honest it is not the industry I joined. A newsroom when I joined was a place of argument and constant interaction.

“It is not the newsroom I grew up in and I have become more and more detached from the mainstream in that sense. I don't think it is an ideas factory any more. It is a very busy place where the news is assembled and processed.”

He is survived by his spouse Sylvia and three children.

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