Australian Tv presenter Bill Peach has lost his battle against cancer.

The pioneering journalist and traveller died in Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital at the age of 78 on Tuesday (27Aug13) after suffering with lung cancer.

He was best known as the presenter of Australian current affairs show This Day Tonight and was hailed as the country's first news anchor.

The ABC's managing director Mark Scott praised him as a "courageous, pioneering" journalist leading a programme that "broke more ground, created more controversy and caused Abc management more trouble than any other program in the Abc's history".

Peach was born in New South Wales and trained as a teacher before scoring a traineeship with Abc radio in 1958. He went on to win an award for Outstanding Contribution to Television in 1975.

He is survived by his partner Pam and two children.