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Bill Turnbull taking leave of absence from Classic FM show for ‘health reasons’

The former BBC Breakfast presenter has hosted a show on the station since 2016.


Bill Turnbull is taking a leave of absence from Classic FM (Classic FM/PA)

Bill Turnbull is taking a leave of absence from Classic FM (Classic FM/PA)

Bill Turnbull is taking a leave of absence from Classic FM (Classic FM/PA)

Bill Turnbull has announced he is stepping back from his show on Classic FM for “health reasons”.

The presenter, who appeared on BBC Breakfast from 2001 until 2016, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017.

Announcing the news on social media, he said he was taking “a leave of absence” from his weekend programme, which he has fronted for five years.

Turnbull, 65, said on Twitter: “With great regret I am taking a leave of absence from my show @classicfm, for health reasons. The road has been a bit bumpy recently, and I need to take some time to focus on getting better.

“I’m sorry to do this, as I absolutely love doing the programme, and have hugely enjoyed the past five years.

“I am very grateful to friends and colleagues @global for the love and support they have shown me. And I will be back, just as soon as I can be.”

A Classic FM spokesman said: “Bill is a hugely valued and loved member of the Classic FM and Global family.

“We wish him all the very best as he takes time away from his programmes to concentrate on getting better.

“Along with our listeners, we look forward to welcoming him back on air as soon as he can be.”

The presenter revealed his prostate cancer diagnosis in March 2018, saying he was diagnosed the previous November, and detailed his treatment in a Channel 4 documentary called Staying Alive.

He previously said he was diagnosed after long-term aches and pains, which he had put down to “old age”, were no longer being alleviated with pills.

After making his diagnosis public, Turnbull became an advocate for prostate cancer charities and encouraged others to get tested, saying: “Maybe if I’d got it earlier and stopped it at the prostate, I’d be in a much better state.”

BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker was among the people sending Turnbull good wishes.

He tweeted: “Wishing you all the very best Bill. Take care of yourself.”

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