BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull has died aged 66

The broadcaster died peacefully at his home in Suffolk following a cancer battle, his family have confirmed.

BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull has died
(Image credit: Getty)

Former BBC Breakfast Presenter Bill Turnbull has lost his battle with cancer, as his family confirm the broadcaster has died aged 66.

Bill, who is best-known for presenting BBC Breakfast for 15 years before hosting Songs of Praise and game show Think Tank, announced back in 2018 that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer after being given the terminal diagnosis a year earlier.

He left the BBC in 2016, to be replaced by Dan Walker, and joined Classic FM, where he presented shows until recently.

In announcing his death, his family shared, "Bill will be remembered by many as a remarkable broadcaster who brought warmth and humour into people's homes.

"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." 

They revealed he received his diagnosis in 2017 and praised his "outstanding medical care" from the Royal Marsden and Ipswich Hospitals, St Elizabeth Hospice and his GP.

The heartfelt tribute continued, "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 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," they said, adding he was a devoted Wycombe Wanderers fan and "an ever-aspiring beekeeper".

BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull has died

(Image credit: Getty)

Bill's former co-stars have paid tribute to his life on BBC Breakfast this morning.

 Naga Munchetty said, "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."

Charlie Stayt added that Turnbull "didn't take himself too seriously".

Susannah Reid 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."

Bill was no stranger to a reality show - he competed in an early series of Strictly Come Dancing and finished sixth place with his partner Karen Hardy. He also took part in the celebrity edition of The Great British Bake Off.

In 2020 he spoke to 5 News about living with Prostate Cancer after becoming an ambassador for Prostate Cancer UK - urging men to get themselves checked and to be aware of the signs and symptoms. 

In recent years he returned to screens to host The One Show and was reunited with Susanna Reid on ITVs Good Morning Britain.

And fans have paid tribute to the star. One fan wrote, "May his soul Rest in Eternal Peace. I enjoyed watching him every morning during my stay in London. He was such a talent."

Another put, "Very sad news indeed. One of my favourite broadcasters - kind, warm, funny and treated all guests with the upmost respect. He’s done so much to raise the awareness of men’s cancers since he was diagnosed. My deepest sympathies to his family, friends and ex- colleagues."

And a third added, "Such sad news, thoughts and prayers with his family and colleagues at BBCBreakfast."

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)