John Gibson: A Whicker tribute, for Pete’s sake

Alan Whicker. Pic: Bill Henry.
Alan Whicker. Pic: Bill Henry.
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Bland’s the word, or one of the words, for former newscaster and household name Peter Sissons. The same Peter, though, can sizzle when inclined. Sisizzle. And frizzle.

He’s narked because certain people, namely the BBC and ITV, are not organising, and showing no signs, of a memorial service for doyen of broadcasters Alan Whicker.

Among veteran broadcasters who share in the snub at Whicker’s unique contribution are Michael “Nationwide” Barrat and Sandy Gall, still narked at his wife’s drastic treament of his wine collection and suits.

Much-mourned Alan died last July at 91.

You’d think that our much-mimicked Prime Minister, diligent enough this time round to rubber-stamp a CBE for one of his aides, would get off his Old Etonian bum to personally orchestrate a tribute to Whicker. Meantime, Sissons is having the last words.


Knocked back in a Princes Street department store (not to mention damn near knocked over) when I asked if they had such a commodity as Helen Flanagan wallpaper for my bathroom.

“No”, snapped the sullen assistant, “don’t you see enough of her in the papers every day?” Then: “I’m sorry, sir,” she apologised. “We’re short-staffed today.” Meantime, she’d called the polis.

Afterwords . . .

. . . Joan Collins on her pet subject: “Clothes reveal to the world what you think of yourself and I believe you should look well turned-out, whatever you’re doing.”