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BBC presenter Bill Turnbull has died aged 66

Joe Harker

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| Last updated 

BBC presenter Bill Turnbull has died aged 66

Former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull has died aged 66, his family have confirmed.

The popular presenter had battled cancer for years and last year took a leave of absence from his role on Classic FM for 'health reasons'.

Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017, he revealed his diagnosis in 2018 and detailed his treatment in Channel 4 documentary Staying Alive.

Turnbull first joined the BBC in 1990 and covered some of the biggest stories of that decade including the OJ Simpson trial and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

He then became one of the mainstays for BBC News 24 and worked for BBC Radio 5 Live.

In 2001, he joined BBC Breakfast alongside Sian Williams, with the pair working together until the show moved up to Salford in 2012. After Williams departed, Turnbull continued to present Breakfast until 2016.

He also appeared on a number of other shows, including a role as himself on Doctor Who and a stint on Strictly Come Dancing in 2005, where he came seventh alongside Karen Hardy.

Bill Turnbull has died aged 66, his family have confirmed. Credit: Peter Devlin / Alamy Stock Photo
Bill Turnbull has died aged 66, his family have confirmed. Credit: Peter Devlin / Alamy Stock Photo

His family said in a statement: "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.

"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."

Bill Turnbull at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2018. Credit: michael melia / Alamy Stock Photo
Bill Turnbull at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2018. Credit: michael melia / Alamy Stock Photo

His family also paid tribute to his love of football and his avid interest in beekeeping.

They said: "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 2011, the presenter released a book titled The Bad Beekeepers Club, detailing his attempts to keep bees.

"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."

Having spent years as a regular fixture on British televisions, he is sure to be sorely missed by many.

Featured Image Credit: BBC/ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: UK News, News, Cancer

Joe Harker
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