PAUL McCartney has paid tribute to his “old mate” Peter Sissons, who has died, and shared photographs of their time at school together.
Both McCartney and Sissons went to Liverpool Institute for Boys in the late 1950s, where he met another Beatle, George Harrison, whom he also befriended.
Yesterday… Paul McCartney shared this school photograph of him and Peter Sissons as Liverpool schoolboys
Peter Sissons, grew up in Liverpool, and knew three of the Beatles while they were schoolboys
Addressing him personally in his blog, McCartney remembered the schoolboy Sissons, whom he kept in touch with as they grew up and went their separate ways.
He said: “Dear Peter, my old schoolmate from the Liverpool Institute (now LIPA) has passed away.
“It’s so sad to hear the news.
“We were in the same year and stayed in touch as time went by and we both followed our separate careers.
“He was a talented news presenter with a great sense of humour.
“I will miss him but always have fond memories of the time we spent together.
“My sympathies go out to his family and I send my love to them all.
“Thanks for the good times Pete.”
Born in Liverpool, growing up he attended Dovedale Junior School, where he met John Lennon and Jimmy Tarbuck.
He later attended the Liverpool Institute for Boys, where he befriended two other Beatles-to-be McCartney and Harrison.
Before his broadcasting career took off, Sissons worked as a bus conductor in Liverpool.
I will miss him but always have fond memories of the time we spent together
Paul McCartney, Peter Sisson’s old friend
Fiona Bruce also paid tribute to Peter Sissons, whom she worked alongside at the BBC.
Question Time host Bruce said that he was “one of the loveliest men in broadcasting”.
“His brilliance in news was well known but to me, he was generous, funny, a bit naughty and so kind. I will miss him very much,” she added.
Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow also praised Sissons — who hosted the first edition of Channel 4 News in 1982 and fronted it for seven years — for setting “the tone and high journalistic standards that the programme seeks to emulate to this day”.
Snow added that he was “a consummate journalist, he showed real courage under fire and was indeed shot in both legs in Biafra.
“Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and erstwhile colleagues. He will be greatly missed.”
‘GREAT COMPANY OFF-SCREEN’
BBC broadcaster Andrew Neil tweeted that Sissons “excelled at everything he did and was a first-class broadcaster and journalist to his fingertips”.
He added: “Plus great company off screen. Will miss him. RIP.”
BBC director-general Tony Hall described Sissons as “one of the great television figures of his time — as an interviewer, presenter and world-class journalist”.
Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan said that Sissons was “an excellent journalist and TV newsreader, and splendidly combative and amusing man”, while his co-star and former BBC Breakfast host Susanna Reid said Sissons’ “voice exuded authority”.
BBC Breakfast Dan Walker shared a memory of his former colleague, joking that Sissons had never got his name right.
“Having grown up watching and admiring Peter Sissons it was such a privilege to end up working alongside him at News 24,” Walker tweeted.
“I don’t think he ever got my name right when he threw to me but I loved sharing a studio with him and learned so much. My thoughts are with his family.”
A photo previously shared of Sissons, far left, with John Lennon (centre) and Jimmy Tarbuck with his fists up
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Sissons was a familiar face for decades as a newsreader, joining ITN in 1964 after graduating from Oxford University.
In 1969 he was appointed ITN’s news editor, becoming industrial correspondent a year later, and industrial editor in 1972.
His first role as a news anchor came several years later when he began presenting ITN’s News At One.
Following his stint at Channel 4, Sissons joined the BBC in 1989 as presenter of Question Time, as well as joint presenter of the Six O’Clock News.
He moved to the Nine O’Clock News in 1994 and stayed with the programme until it moved to its new time of 10pm.
He retired from broadcasting in 2009 and was considered at the time to be one of the UK’s longest-serving news presenters.
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