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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Entertainment
Jessica Sansome

Emotional moment BBC Breakfast presenters Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty announce Bill Turnbull death on air

Naga Munchetty was left fighting back tears as she and co-host Charlie Stayt had to announce the sad news that former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull had died.

A statement from his family was released on Thursday morning (September 1) in which they confirmed the TV star and jorunalist's death yesterday (Wednesday, August 31) came after a "challenging and committed fight against prostate cancer," aged 66.

"Bill passed away peacefully at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family on Wednesday, 31st August," his family said. Bill was diagnosed in 2017 and has had outstanding medical care from the Royal Marsden and Ipswich Hospitals, St Elizabeth Hospice and his GP.

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"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."

Bill with Charlie, Naga and Louise Minchin during his time on BBC Breakfast (PA)

The news of Bill's death broke during BBC Breakfast's broadcast with Naga and Charlie on Thursday. As silence rung out in the studio, Charlie somberly said: "We have some sad news to bring you this morning. Our former colleague, former Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull has died after being diagnosed with cancer in 2017."

Naga then began reading the statement and tribute issued by Bill's family before they introduced a VT showing Bill on the show, which he hosted from 2001 until 2016, including where he spoke about his cancer diagnosis in a bid to raise awareness and help others.

Following the VT, Naga fought back tears as she remembered Bill. "Of course, all of us here are sending love and support to Bill's family and his wife. I think today, after we get over the shock of this, we'll start remembering the really funny things Bill did."

As her voice quivered, she continued: "Like when I presented with him, his energy was amazing. He came into this programme and threw everything at it every single day. He was funny when we sat here on the sofa, he was a brilliant journalist and he loved this programme and he loved serving you, the audience."

"I'm sure you'll miss him, and we certainly will too," the presenter added as she held back her emotions before Charlie called him a "wise head".

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