BBC Breakfast host Naga Manchetti paid tribute to a former colleague who died at the age of 66 and recalled the first show sitting alongside Bill Turnbull on the show’s red sofa.
unchetty joined past and present colleagues from the BBC and other stations to remember Turnbull and share anecdotes about the impact he had on their lives.
His family announced that he “passed away peacefully at his home in Suffolk on Wednesday, August 31, surrounded by his family,” after “a challenging and dedicated battle with prostate cancer.”
Paying tribute to the former host, broadcast Thursday morning, Manchetti said:
“After working as closely with Bill as Mike[Bushell]and Charlie[State]I can honestly say he cared a lot about this program and the audience.”
Turnbull was a regular on BBC Breakfast for 15 years before bidding farewell to the show in 2016.
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017 and in 2018 spoke about his treatment in a Channel 4 documentary called “Staying Alive.”
He promoted this program. That’s what great presenters and journalists do, and we all extend our thoughts and condolences to Ceci and Bill’s families as well. we miss him “
Joining BBC Breakfast’s sports presenter Bushel, Manchetti told viewers how Turnbull “can brilliantly change the mood between hard news and light news”.
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“We developed this joke. He became a mentor, so I owe him a lot,” Bushel said.
Bushell tweeted: Our warmth, our love, our thoughts with family.
“One of my favorite days since I first met Billy was when Billy helped me find my feet on the breakfast couch. To @wwfcofficial he loves @lufc 2009 It was the day I saw you commenting on
“He was great in everything he did and most importantly the most amazing company.”
The BBC will broadcast a special program in Mr Turnbull’s honor on Friday.
Turnbull was an avid supporter of Wycombe Wanderers and said the club mourned the loss of “an incredible man and a passionate supporter of our football club”.
He tweeted, “Rest in peace Bill Turnbull. We miss you.”
Sharing messages and photos from Turnbull’s last visit, they added:
“Gareth Ainsworth and Matt Bloomfield climbed the stairs and gave him the best hugs at the final whistle.”
BBC news host George Alagia, who was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer in 2014, congratulated Turnbull for “becoming a role model for all of us living with life-threatening illnesses”.
“Well done Bill for setting an example for all of us living with a life-threatening illness. RIP”.
Turnbull appeared as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing in 2005, teaming up with Karen Hardy.
The official Twitter account for the BBC One show wrote:
“A really great broadcaster turned ballroom dancer when she joined Series 3 of Strictly.”
BBC Director Tim Davey said:
“No matter what the story, he always hit the right tone. Warm, smart, professional and caring, he will be missed by all of us.”
“Our thoughts go out to his family and many friends.”