The late broadcaster Bill Turnbull has been honoured with the launch of an annual prize in his name for medical students at a Cambridge University college. The former BBC Breakfast presenter died at his home in Suffolk in August 2022 at the age of 66 after a battle with prostate cancer, which was diagnosed in November 2017.
Turnbull was a former BBC colleague of broadcaster Roger Mosey, who is now Master of Cambridge’s Selwyn College. Turnbull attended a number of events at Selwyn College over the years, giving talks about the media and his career, and now a prize has been set up in his name with the permission of his family.
The Bill Turnbull Prize for Clinical Medicine will be given to a Selwyn student in the fourth to sixth years of their medical degree. It is backed by an "initial five-figure donation" from Turnbull’s estate.
Many of Selwyn College’s students are based for some of their training at Ipswich Hospital in Suffolk, which was one of the places where Turnbull received care while being treated for prostate cancer. A travel scholarship is also being established at the college in recognition of Turnbull’s love of the United States, where he served as a BBC correspondent in New York and then Washington.
It will give £1,000 each summer to students wanting to travel to the USA for the benefit of their academic work. Turnbull’s widow, Sesi Turnbull, said: "Bill would be so honoured to be remembered with this prize and scholarship from Selwyn College.
"Throughout his life he had a strong connection with America, where we lived as a family for some years while he was working as a BBC correspondent. Towards the end of his life, after moving to Suffolk, Bill received outstanding care from Ipswich Hospital, for which we will always be grateful.
"It is wonderful to know that others will get the opportunity to broaden their studies in places which were so close to Bill’s heart." Roger Mosey, Master of Selwyn College, said: "Bill became a great friend to Selwyn – visiting here often, and generously giving his time to talk to students about his career and how they might themselves go into journalism. I’m delighted that his name will now be permanently associated with a prize and with support for future generations of students."
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