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Tributes to broadcaster Bill Turnbull

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Bill Turnbull, who hosted BBC Breakfast for 15 years, has died aged, 66.

In 2018 it was revealed that he’d been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

 “Following a challenging and committed fight against prostate cancer, Bill passed away peacefully at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family on Wednesday, 31st August,” read a statement from his family.

“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.

“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.

“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.”

 

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Turnbull left BBC Breakfast in 2016, at the time he said he wanted to spend more time with his bees.

Today, Dan Walker, who took over the role, stated:

“Bill Turnbull was so kind and generous when I took over from him on BBC Breakfast. He was full of brilliant advice and it was clear just how loved he was by his colleagues and the audience. It was an honour to sit on his sofa.

“My thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Jon Kay added:

“So very sad to hear this news. Bill was an absolute gent – respected and loved by everyone at #BBCBreakfast over many many years. Thinking of his lovely family.”

Turnbull was diagnosed with cancer while filming for The Great British Bake Off’s Stand Up to Cancer special. Specialists found that the incurable prostate cancer had spread to his legs, hips, pelvis and ribs.

At the time he stated:

“The contract I thought I had with life has been shortened quite a bit.

“Maybe if I’d got it earlier and stopped it at the prostate, I’d be in a much better state.

“The GP said, ‘It’s clear you have prostate cancer and that it’s spread to the bone.’ And all of a sudden you’re in this dark chasm.”

He was told he could live up to 14 more years

“The worst thing is, you carry it through the day and then you go to bed at night and wake up in the morning and it comes to you again. I have got cancer. I’ve still got cancer. It wasn’t a bad dream. And that takes a lot of dealing with.”


At the time of his leaving BBC Breakfast, the production team put together a highlights reel.

 


 

 

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