A statement from Turnbull’s family said he had passed away peacefully at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family yesterday. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017.
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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,” said the statement. “It was a great comfort to Bill that so many more men are now testing earlier for this disease.”
The statement added that Turnbull will be “remembered by many as a remarkable broadcaster who brought warmth and humor into people’s homes on BBC Breakfast and Classic FM.”
BBC Director General Tim Davie released a statement saying: “Bill was a much loved and respected broadcaster and journalist — not just by viewers but by all those lucky enough to have worked with him. He always struck the right tone, no matter what the story. Warm, wise, professional and caring, he will be much missed by us all. Our thoughts go out to his family and many friends.”
Born in Surrey in 1956, Turnbull became a much-loved broadcaster who presented the BBC’s flagship Breakfast show from 2001 to 2016. He also worked on Classic FM and presented the religious series Songs of Praise and game show Think Tank.
At BBC Breakfast, Turnbull hosted coverage of two U.S. presidential elections, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the London 7/7 bombings. He was known for a warm, intelligent style that made him hugely popular with viewers.
After studying at the University of Edinburgh, Turnbull started his career in local radio before reporting for the BBC’s Today program and being a correspondent for BBC News, where he reported on the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
Turnbull is survived by three children and wife Sarah McCombie.
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