Bill Turnbull on Good Morning Britain

Bill Turnbull has died aged 66 (Picture: Rex)

Former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull has died at the age of 66 following a battle with prostate cancer, his family has confirmed.

The beloved TV presenter died peacefully surrounded by his loved ones on Wednesday, five years after he was first diagnosed with the disease.

‘Bill was diagnosed in 2017 and has had outstanding medical care from the Royal Marsden and Ipswich Hospitals, St Elizabeth Hospice and his GP,’ his family said in a statement, with tributes also pouring in.

‘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.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

Bill Turnbull

The beloved TV presenter was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017 (Picture: PA)

Bill Turnbull on BBC Breakfast

Turnbull appeared on BBC Breakfast from 2001 until 2016 (Picture: BBC)

‘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.’

The statement continued: ‘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.’

Turnbull shared news of his prostate cancer diagnosis in March 2018 and detailed his treatment in a Channel 4 documentary called Staying Alive.

In October last year, he announced he was taking a leave of absence from his show on Classic FM for health reasons.

Bill Turnbull

The journalist took a leave of absence from his Classic FM show last October for health reasons (Picture: PA)

Bill Turnbull on BBC Breakfast.

Turnbull first joined the BBC as a reporter for the Today programme in 1986 (Picture: BBC)

Bill Turnbull

He went public with his cancer diagnosis in 2018 (Picture: PA)

Confirming the news on social media, Turnbull said he was taking ‘a leave of absence’ from his weekend programme, which he had fronted for five years.

Turnbull’s career started at Scotland’s Radio Clyde in 1978 before joining the BBC as a reporter for the Today programme in 1986. He became a reporter for BBC’s Breakfast Time two years later.

In 1990, Turnbull was hired as 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 was one of the main presenters on BBC News 24, as it was called back then.

Turnbull joined BBC Breakfast in 2001 as a presenter alongside Sian Williams and they worked together until 2012 when she left for Salford.

Bill Turnbull and Sian Williams

Turnbull hosted BBC Breakfast with Sian Williams for 11 years (Picture: BBC)

Piers Morgan, Bill Turnbull and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain.

He regularly dropped by the Good Morning Britain studio to see his former co-host Susanna (Picture: ITV)

Bill Turnbull and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain.

Turnbull and Susanna fronted Good Morning Britain together on several occasions (Picture: ITV)

He then co-anchored the programme with Susanna Reid and the pair presented together until 2014, when Susanna left the show to join ITV.

Recalling his most memorable moments from his breakfast career as he signed off from the red sofa in February 2016, he said ‘nearly getting into a fight with a ventriloquist’s dummy called Bob’ and wearing a jumper made of dog hair.

Tributes have been flooding in following the news of Turnbull’s death, with Susanna writing: ‘Bill was the kindest, funniest, most generous man in the business.

‘I feel lucky to have worked with him and he taught me everything. But above all, he was devoted to his family and I am heartbroken for them. RIP Bill. We will miss you so much.’

BBC Breakfast tweeted: ‘Former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull has died. He was 66. He was loved by our viewers. He was loved by his colleagues. Bill will always be remembered for his warmth, humour and being a brilliant journalist.’

Dan Walker said: ‘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.’


MORE : Bill Turnbull’s amazing career from BBC Breakfast to Strictly Come Dancing following his death aged 66


MORE : BBC Breakfast’s Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt pay emotional tribute to Bill Turnbull live on air following death from prostate cancer

Got a story?

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us celebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.