REVIEW: Peter Sissons – When One Door Closes

Last week I finished reading my copy of ‘Peter Sissons – When One Door Closes‘, which I started reading after seeing him at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in October.

Sissons covers all aspects of his career in journalism, starting with how his school and university years kick-started it for him, before he joined ITN as a reporter on ITV.

The most interesting bits for me however were the chapters about his work on Channel 4 News, and then later as host on Question Time and newsreader on BBC News.

He tells the story of how Channel 4 news started, what happened during its (disastrous) first year and then how it changed as a result. Really, the format of the programme has been unchanged since then. I was intrigued to learn that the reason they picked the theme tune that they did (the one which is still an iconic part of C4 News today) is because it was a royalty-free piece of music!

Sissons then writes about taking over from Sir Robin Day as presenter of BBC Question Time, the battle between the BBC and ITN after he gave ITN his resignation notice, and the internal politics of the BBC.

For anyone interested in the media/broadcasting/the news, its a fascinating read, he tells some great stories and makes his views on modern newsreading very clear. I would recommend this book to anyone. 🙂


Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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