Peter Sissons, the former BBC and ITN newsreader and Question Time host, has died at the age of 77.
Sissons joined ITN in the 1960s before moving to the BBC in 1989 to present Question Time and the Six O’Clock News.
BBC director general Tony Hall described him as “one of the great television figures of his time”.
Tributes also came from such figures as Piers Morgan and BBC presenter Simon McCoy, who said Sissons was “a great journalist and a fine presenter“.
Good Morning Britain host Morgan hailed him as “an excellent journalist and TV newsreader, and splendidly combative and amusing man”.
Born in Liverpool in 1942, Sissons joined ITN in 1964 as a writer, and became a reporter three years later.
He earned his foreign correspondent’s spurs when he was wounded by gunfire in Biafra in 1968. He was promoted to ITN’s news editor and then industrial editor before becoming a presenter of ITN’s News at One in 1978.
When Channel 4 was launched in 1982, he was chosen to present their 19:00 news programme, and during his time as anchor Channel Four News won three consecutive Bafta Awards.
After joining the BBC in 1989, he hosted Question Time for four years and also presented the Nine O’Clock News and 10 O’Clock News.
In 2002, he faced criticism for wearing a burgundy-coloured tie rather than the customary black when breaking the news of the Queen Mother’s death.
Sissons retired from broadcasting in 2009. Two years later, he published an autobiography in which he criticised the BBC for having what he saw as a left-wing bias.
Lord 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.”
A statement from Sissons’ management company said he “died peacefully” in Maidstone Hospital in Kent on Tuesday.
“His wife and three children were with him and wish to pass on their thanks to the hospital staff,” it added.