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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Nicole Vassell

Bill Turnbull death: BBC Breakfast host dies aged 66


Former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull has died at the age of 66, his family has announced.

He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017 and had taken a leave of absence from his radio show at Classic FM to focus on his health in October 2021.

Turnbull returned to his radio show in August, but died at home on Wednesday (31 August).

A spokesperson on behalf of the family said: “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.”

The statement went on to describe him as “resolutely positive” and noted that the support he received from friends, colleagues, and messages from people wishing him luck was something that “hugely bouyed” him.

After his diagnosis, Turnbull used his platform to speak about prostate cancer and encourage men to be aware of the disease. He fronted the Channel 4 documentary Bill Turnbull: Staying Alive in 2019, in which he explored the use of cannabis oil for medicinal purposes.

Prior to his role on Classic FM, Turnbull was the host of BBC Breakfast for 15 years, before exiting the show when it moved to Salford in 2016.

BBC Breakfast (PA)

During his time on BBC Breakfast, he presented alongside Sian Williams, Susanna Reid, Kate Silverton, Natasha Kaplinsky and Louise Minchin.

The official statement continued: “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.”

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