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Former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull dies aged 66


Former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull dies aged 66

The family of Bill Turnbull have announced his death at age 66.

The former BBC Breakfast presenter, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November 2017, died “peacefully” at his home in Suffolk on Wednesday.

Turnbull, who hosted the show from 2001 until 2016, revealed his diagnosis in March 2018 and described his treatment in the documentary Staying Alive on Channel 4.

In April 2016, he began presenting his own show on Classic FM, airing every Saturday and Sunday from 10am-1pm. In October, he announced that he was leaving the station due to health reasons.

In a statement, his family praised the treatment that he received from the Royal Marsden and Ipswich hospitals, St Elizabeth Hospice and his GP.

Popular duo, Bill Turnbull & Susanna Reid on BBC Breakfast.

The family statement also notes:

“He was resolutely positive and was hugely buoyed by the support he received from friends, colleagues, and messages from people wishing him luck. It was a great comfort to Bill that so many more men are now testing earlier for this disease.

“Bill will be remembered by many as a remarkable broadcaster who brought warmth and humour into people’s homes on BBC Breakfast and Classic FM.

“He was also a devoted Wycombe Wanderers fan and an ever-aspiring beekeeper.

“Bill was a wonderful husband and father to his three children; his family and friends will miss how he always made them laugh, and the generosity and love he shared with those around him.”

Celebrating 25 years of BBC Breakfast / Breakfast Time in 2008.

Beginning his broadcasting career at Scotland’s Radio Clyde in 1978, Turnbull joined the BBC in 1986 as a reporter for Today, and two years later joined Breakfast Time. In 1990, he joined BBC News as a correspondent, and he reported from over 30 countries, covering notable stories like the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the OJ Simpson trial.

He became one of the main presenters on the BBC News 24 channel when he moved back to the UK permanently. He also presented Weekend Breakfast on BBC Radio 5 Live.

In 2001, he joined BBC Breakfast alongside Sian Williams and they worked together until 2012, when Sian left after the show moved from London to Salford. He continued to present the show with Susanna Reid until 2014 when she left the BBC to front ITV rival Good Morning Britain.

As well as BBC Breakfast, he hosted BBC One’s Songs of Praise.

Morning ratings winner, BBC Breakfast with Bill Turnbull and Sián Williams.

During Strictly Come Dancing 2005, he was partnered with professional dancer Karen Hardy and was voted off the show after seven weeks.

He also appeared on ITV’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and Through The Keyhole, the BBC’s Celebrity Mastermind, Would I Lie To You?, Pointless Celebrities, and Room 101, as well as Channel 4’s Countdown in the dictionary corner.

In 2011, he appeared as himself in the Doctor Who episode The Wedding of River Song. He also reunited with Susanna Reid over on ITV’s Good Morning Britain when he appeared as a guest and later holiday cover co-host.

Away from the cameras he was passionate about bee keeping and wrote a book on the subject titled The Bad Beekeepers Club.

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