BBC Breakfast confirm tribute to Bill Turnbull with Reid and Minchin

Bill Turnbull: Charlie and Naga break news of presenter's death

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Bill Turnbull was a familiar face to BBC Breakfast viewers during his 15-year tenure between 2001 and 2016. The broadcaster co-hosted alongside the likes of Louise Minchin, Susanna Reid and many others during his time on the show and became a much-loved figure among BBC viewers. Following the news of his death on Thursday, September 1, the BBC has confirmed Friday’s show will take a look back at his time on the programme, as well as speak to those who worked closely with Bill and loved him as a friend.

In a statement shared by BBC confirming the one-off tribute special in memory of Bill, the broadcaster acknowledged Bill’s contribution to the show and affirmed the episode would be a “celebration” of his life.

Friday’s BBC Breakfast will also raise awareness of prostate cancer, the disease which ultimately took Bill’s life.

The statement read: “‘BBC Breakfast will be celebrating the life of loves of former presenter Bill Turnbull in a special programme on Friday morning. 

“We’ll look back at his 15 years hosting the show and speak to his former co-presenters Louise Minchin, Sian Williams and Susanna Reid. 

“We’ll look at how he raised awareness about prostate cancer and shared his love of bee-keeping. 

“Sports presenter Mike Bushell will be at Wycombe – the club Bill loyally supported – and we’ll remember his lighter side from Strictly to the many times he discussed the weather with Carol Kirkwood.”

Editor Richard Frediani added to the BBC’s statement to say: “Bill Turnbull loved our viewers and our viewers loved him.

“Friday’s BBC Breakfast will be a celebration of Bill’s life on and off screen which he shared with millions of viewers every week.”

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Bill’s death was confirmed by his family who revealed the presenter died “peacefully at home” surrounded by his loved ones.

They confirmed: “Following a challenging and committed fight against prostate cancer, Bill passed away peacefully at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family on August 31.

“Bill was diagnosed in 2017 and has had outstanding medical care from the Royal Marsden and Ipswich hospitals, St Elizabeth hospice and his GP. 

“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.”

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Tributes from far and wide poured in for Bill following the news of his death, including many from those who had the pleasure of working alongside him – both on the BBC and beyond.

Piers Morgan was one fellow presenter who shared a tribute to Bill, writing on Twitter: “RIP Bill Turnbull, 66. One of the best broadcasters in Britain, and such a smart, funny, warm & generous-spirited man. Fought his illness with typical stoicism, courage and humour. 

“Bill made presenting live TV look so effortless, which was his great talent. Such sad news.”

This was echoed by Piers’ former GMB co-host and Bill’s ex-BBC Breakfast colleague Susanna Reid, who shared: “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.”

Louise Minchin concurred: “Sending my love and thoughts to the family of my wonderful friend Bill Turnbull. He was a brilliant journalist, a stickler for accuracy, passionate about @BBCBreakfast and a fabulously supportive and kind team-player. 

“Most of all he was great fun, I love how he made me laugh. Xx,” she signed off.

While new Channel 5 News host Dan Walker commented: “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.”

BBC Breakfast airs daily on BBC One at 6am.

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