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Former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull has died

Ali Condon

Published 
| Last updated 

Former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull has died

Featured Image Credit: Michael Pearcy / Alamy Stock Photo / BBC

Journalist and former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull has died at the age of 66, his family has confirmed.

The TV presenter, who appeared on BBC Breakfast from 2001 until 2016, had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017.

He had revealed his prostate cancer diagnosis in March 2018, saying he was diagnosed the previous November, and he detailed his treatment in a Channel 4 documentary called Staying Alive.

Bill Turnbull has passed away at age 66. Credit: Michael Melia / Alamy Stock Photo
Bill Turnbull has passed away at age 66. Credit: Michael Melia / Alamy Stock Photo

A statement from his loved ones issued on Thursday, 1 September, read: “Following a challenging and committed fight against prostate cancer, Bill passed away peacefully at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family on Wednesday, 31 August.

“Bill was diagnosed in 2017 and has had outstanding medical care from the Royal Marsden and Ipswich Hospitals, St Elizabeth Hospice and his GP.

“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.

The presenter and journalist was best known for his work on BBC Breakfast. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
The presenter and journalist was best known for his work on BBC Breakfast. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

“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.”

In October 2021, Bill had announced plans to take a leave of absence from his show on Classic FM, which he had fronted for five years, for health reasons.

Bill started his broadcast career at Scotland’s Radio Clyde in 1978, joining the BBC as a reporter for the Today programme in 1986 before becoming a reporter for BBC’s Breakfast Time two years later.

Bill had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017. Credit: Peter Devlin / Alamy Stock Photo
Bill had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017. Credit: Peter Devlin / Alamy Stock Photo

In 1990, Turnbull became a correspondent for BBC News and reported from more than 30 countries, with notable stories he covered including the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the OJ Simpson trial.

After moving back to the UK, he became one of the main presenters on BBC News 24, as it was called back then.

He also worked for BBC Radio 5 Live, including presenting Weekend Breakfast.

Topics: Celebrity, BBC

Ali Condon
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