Belfast Telegraph

Bill Turnbull says he's 'not retiring' ahead of new quiz launch

Former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull has an important message to share with his fans: "I'm not retiring!"

When the presenter quit the breakfast show's famous red sofa in February to spend more time with his family and his bees, many incorrectly assumed he was leaving television behind for good.

He told the Press Association: " That was awful. I had to shout it from the rooftops in capital letters: 'I'm not retiring!' People got the impression, I suppose, because I've retired from the breakfast sofa.

"But I'm still going to be keeping busy doing other things. I shall be cluttering up the airwaves in one respect or another for a while yet."

Those who have got the wrong end of the stick may be surprised to see Turnbull back on TV screens as host of the new quiz show, Think Tank.

"I hope it's not an unpleasant surprise," he joked.

The 60-year-old said he was "much more relaxed" filming the new BBC One quiz, which sees a group of regular contributors from across the nation answering general knowledge questions.

He said: "You're used to a certain level of stress in terms of deadlines and doing live things and breaking news stories.

"And of course that doesn't happen on a quiz show, which is great. It's much more relaxed, and we can all enjoy it a lot more."

Luckily, his new job does not require early morning starts.

"It's lovely. It's absolutely delightful," he said.

"I still am waking up in the middle of the night, but I just roll over and go back to sleep. I go, 'Oh! It's half past three. How nice.' And then I just close my eyes and off I go.

"And then there's no alarm, but we sort of wake up at a reasonable time anyway, and just have a nice leisurely morning. I turn on the telly to watch breakfast television instead of presenting it, which is terrific."

Turnbull's replacement is 38-year-old Dan Walker, and he has been keeping an eye on his successor.

He said: "He's done very well I think, from what I've seen. He looks very comfortable.

"He has three advantages over me: he's younger, he's taller and he's more handsome."

When Turnbull announced in September his decision to step down from the show, he told the Mirror: "I have been neglecting my bees for far too long."

But the situation has apparently yet to improve.

"They are still as neglected as before because they're still on a farm in Buckinghamshire, so until we get everything sorted out they will be on their own," he said.

"And they're quite happy with that, to be honest.

"Bees are, so long as they've got enough food - and I gave them plenty of food for the winter - they'll just sort themselves out, and then they'll probably get mildly annoyed when I come back to see how they are."

:: Think Tank launches on BBC One at 2.15pm on Monday, March 22.


From Belfast Telegraph