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Peter Sissons
Born Peter George Sissons
17 July 1942 (1942-07-17) (age 67)
Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Occupation Broadcast journalist
Notable credit(s) ITV News (ITN)
Question Time
BBC News
BBC News channel

Peter George Sissons (born 17 July 1942) is a broadcast journalist in the United Kingdom.



Originally from Liverpool, Peter Sissons attended the Dovedale Road Junior School with John Lennon and Jimmy Tarbuck and after the 11+ to the Liverpool Institute for Boys from 1953 to 1961 with Bill Kenwright, George Harrison and Paul McCartney. He later studied at University College, Oxford where he was Treasurer of the University College Players.


After many years as a journalist, his first stint as a newsreader came in 1976 when he began anchoring ITN's News at One bulletins alternately with Leonard Parkin until the first incarnation of the series was dropped by ITV in 1987 after Leonard Parkin decided to retire from ITN; Sissons subsequently left for the BBC.

In June 1989, Sissons took over from Sir Robin Day as the presenter of Question Time. He continued until December 1993, when he was followed by David Dimbleby.

In 1989 he received a death threat, after his interview of an Iranian representative as part of the reaction surrounding the publication of the The Satanic Verses, that the fatwa covered him as well.[1]

He also co-presented BBC's 1992 General Election Night coverage with David Dimbleby and Peter Snow. Previously he had been a co-presenter on ITN's election night programmes in 1983 (with Sir Alastair Burnet and Martyn Lewis) and in 1987 (with Burnet and Alastair Stewart).

He has worked for ITN, Channel 4 News and BBC News, where he hosted the BBC Nine O'Clock News and the Ten O'Clock News. He retired from this position in January 2003. Sissons reportedly accused the BBC of ageism in response to its decision to move him from the prime slot.[2]

In 2002, Sissons announced the death of The Queen Mother on the BBC. His broadcast created a minor controversy, as he wore a burgundy tie as opposed to a black one, deemed more appropriate by some for such news.[3] Sissons has since publicly defended his actions.[4]

He now presents weekend afternoons on BBC News, the corporation's 24-hour rolling news channel. Sissons also presents News 24 Sunday, the replacement for Andrew Marr's BBC One programme The Andrew Marr Show when it is off air during the Summer. He also occasionally presents weekend bulletins on BBC One. During BBC News's coverage of the 2008–2009 Israel–Gaza conflict, Sissons was described by George Galloway, MP as "simply monstrous" on account of Sissons' alleged bias towards Israel.[5]

On 12 June 2009, Sissons announced his intention to retire in the summer in order to write his memoirs.[6].

Personal life

Sissons is also a Liverpool John Moores University Honorary Fellow and delivered a lecture on 19 June 2008 speaking about the City of Liverpool.[7]

His daughter is the actress Kate Sissons.


Preceded by
Sir Robin Day
Regular Host of Question Time
Succeeded by
David Dimbleby


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