Skip to main content

Home TV TV News

Former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull dies from cancer aged 66

Turnbull was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017

By Sam Moore

Bill Turnbull on BBC Breakfast.
Bill Turnbull on BBC Breakfast. (BBC)

Former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull has died, aged 66.

A spokesperson for the broadcaster and his family confirmed he had died five years after being diagnosed with prostage cancer: “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.”

“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,” they said.

The statement also said: “Bill will be remembered by many as a remarkable broadcaster who brought warmth and humour into people’s homes. He was also a devoted Wycombe Wanderers fan and an ever-aspiring beekeeper.”

They concluded by saying: “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 hosted BBC Breakfast for 15 years but departed when the show’s production moved to Salford.

After leaving the BBC, Turnbull moved to Classic FM and continued to present shows on the station until recently.

A number of Turnbull’s former colleagues have paid tribute to the popular presenter.

Naga Munchetty, who is currently a host on BBC Breakfast said on the show this morning: “His energy was amazing. He came into this programme and threw everything at it. He was funny; he was a brilliant journalist. He loved this programme and he loved serving you, the audience.”

Susanna Reid also tweeted: “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.”

Following his cancer diagnosis, Turnbull presented a documentary about living with the disease for Channel 4. He also became an advocate for medicinal marijuana use, especially in cancer patients.

Turnbull is survived by his wife and three children.