BBC legend Peter Sissons pictured with Beatle John Lennon and comedian Jimmy Tarbuck on 1951 school seaside trip

BBC legend Peter Sissons pictured with Beatle John Lennon and comedian Jimmy Tarbuck on 1951 school seaside trip

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BBC legend Peter Sissons smiles aged eight as he poses for a picture next to pals John Lennon and Jimmy Tarbuck.

The newsreader, who went Dovedale Junior School in Liverpool, gathered for a group photograph with his schoolmates during a 1951 seaside trip to the Isle of Man.

Peter Sissons (left) puts his left arm on John Lennon (centre left) who is standing next to Jimmy Tarbuck (centre right) and Brian Labone (top right) during a school trip to the Isle of Man in 1951
Peter Sissons had a career spanning almost 40 years in journalism
Peter Sissons had a career spanning almost 40 years in journalism

He can be seen putting his left hand on Lennon’s shoulder as they played in the sea together.

Comedian Tarbuck struck a boxer’s pose while standing in front of Brian Labone, who went on to become a football star and Everton captain.

It is believed teacher Fred Bolt took the image which has emerged following Sissons’ death aged 77.

40-YEAR CAREER

Sissons was one of the best known faces of British TV after a career of almost 40 years in journalism including 16 with the BBC.

The journalist grew up in Liverpool and went to school with the Beatles-to-be Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.

Paying tribute to Sissons, McCartney posted a school photo of them at the Liverpool Institute for Boys.

He wrote: “I will miss him but always have fond memories of the time we spent together.”

Sissons, following a spell as a bus conductor in Liverpool, began his journalistic career in 1964, working as a writer with ITN before becoming a news reporter.

I will miss him but always have fond memories of the time we spent together


Paul McCartney

Then he became a foreign correspondent in Biafra, where he was wounded by gunfire in 1968.
After his recovery, he became ITN’s Industrial Editor.

By 1978, he was presenting ITN’s News At One before going on to become a presenter of BBC’s Question Time from 1989 to 1993.

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 was most well-known for breaking the news of the Queen Mother’s death in 2002.

RETIRED IN 2009

But while he was praised for leading the BBC’s coverage, he also faced criticism for wearing a burgundy tie instead of a black one when making the announcement.

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

The newsreader was named by the Broadcasting Press Guild as the Best Front of Camera Performer in 1984, also winning three consecutive BAFTA awards.

Sissons was also awarded the Royal Television Society’s Judges Award in 1988.

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.”

BBC Director General Tony Hall also 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.”

Sissons and the Beatles

Sissons attended Dovedale Junior School, which boasts John Lennon and Jimmy Tarbuck among its alumni.

He later attended the Liverpool Institute for Boys, where he met another Beatle, George Harrison, whom he would go on to become friends with.

Many years later, in a 2001 interview with the BBC the Liverpool-born journalist shared anecdotes from his friendship with Harrison.

Recounting an incident from his time at ITN, he told the BBC: “I got a phone call on the news desk and the receptionist said ‘George Harrison is here to see you’.

“I went down to reception and there was George in reception with most of the Hare Krishna people from Oxford Street.

“The place was full of these men in saffron robes and in the middle was George in a rather way-out sort of hippie suit.

“He said to me: ‘Peter, I’ve got a terrific story for the news, it’ll be the lead story, you’ve got to put it on the news tonight’.

“I said: ‘Terrific, what is it?’

“He said: ‘Peace’.

“I said: ‘Hang on, where?’

“He said: ‘Just peace, it’s a great thing, you’ve got to put it on the news’.

“I explained there had to be a bit more to it than that to make the lead on News at Ten. We promptly parted on very good terms.”

Following Harrison’s death he said the Beatle was “a gentleman and a great musician”.

The veteran journalist is pictured with wife Sylvia
The veteran journalist is pictured with wife Sylvia, who was with him when he died
Alamy
Day in the life ... John Lennon was told he’d be “shot on an island” over a decade before he was gunned down outside his apartment building on New York's Manhattan Island
Beatles legend John Lennon was standing next to Sissons on the beach
AP:Associated Press
British comedian Jimmy Tarbuck was also in the picture
Rex Features
Yesterday... Paul McCartney shared this school photograph of him and Peter Sissons as Liverpool schoolboys
Paul McCartney shared this school photograph of him and Peter Sissons as Liverpool schoolboys
One of the last photos taken of Peter Sissons, taken on March 12 this year
One of the last photos taken of Peter Sissons, taken on March 12 this year with wife Sylvia
BackGrid
Paul McCartney paid a touching tribute to his old pal
Paul McCartney paid a touching tribute to his old friend
PA:Press Association
Sisson announced the news of the death of the Queen Mother in 2002
Sissons announced the news of the death of the Queen Mother in 2002
BBC
The newsreader was part of the BBC election team
The newsreader was part of the BBC election team
Rex Features

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