TV stars send love to Bill Turnbull on-air following his cancer diagnosis
Bill Turnbull’s ex-colleagues sent their love to the former BBC Breakfast stalwart on-air, after the broadcaster revealed he has cancer.
The Classic FM host, 62, discovered that he had advanced prostate cancer which had also spread to the bone, a diagnosis which put him in a “dark chasm”.
But BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin told viewers that Turnbull was now in “really good spirits”.
“I spoke to Bill yesterday,” she said.
“Anybody who has watched him over the last 15 years knows he’s an immensely optimistic person.”
She said: “He was on really good form. He is undergoing treatment at the moment.
“We had a long conversation…. We have a National Lottery syndicate and I phoned him to say we’d won £2.70.”
She said: “He was really upbeat. So best wishes to Bill and all his family as well. He’s probably watching so ‘morning'”.
The show posted a snap of Turnbull on his last day with his BBC Breakfast colleagues before he left the sofa in 2016.
Minchin’s co-host Dan Walker added: “He hopes to be around for some time yet, which is good news.”
Susanna Reid, who also worked with Turnbull on BBC Breakfast, said on Good Morning Britain: “Loads of love to you Bill, and a really positive message to come out of your experience, ‘go to the doctor get the test’.”
She tweeted: “Huge love to Bill Turnbull this morning. Practical, pragmatic and positive as he deals with prostate cancer. His message to others, get yourself checked.”
Radio 4 Today programme host Mishal Husain read out quotes from Turnbull from his Radio Times interview on dealing with the fact that the diagnosis was not just a “bad dream”.
Her co-host Nick Robinson, who had lung cancer, said: “I saw Bill recently and he is putting about as a brave a face on it as ever.
“And you can hear him over on Classic FM still cheerfully playing the discs and talking us through the news as well.”
Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins tweeted that she was sending Turnbull a “big hug”.
Turnbull was diagnosed as he was recording The Great Celebrity Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer.
The much-loved broadcaster said he was “cross with myself” for having prided himself on not visiting a GP in four years.
In Tuesday night’s show, on Channel 4, Turnbull says: “I was getting pains in my legs and my hips particularly, and they would come and go and I thought this is old age.
“Eventually the pains got so bad I thought I better go and see my GP.
“He said, ‘I’ll just give you a blood test, just an MOT to check a few things out’.
“The next morning he called me and asked me to come in pretty quickly, the doctor said, ‘It’s fairly clear from this that you have advanced prostate cancer’.”
Turnbull told his fans on Twitter: “I can confirm reports that I was diagnosed with prostate and bone cancer last November.
“I’m receiving excellent treatment including chemotherapy at Royal Marsden NHS and am immensely grateful for the support I’ve had from colleagues Classic FM, where I continue to work.”
He said: “I am in good spirits and hope to be around for some time yet. Please spare a thought though for the hundreds of people in the UK who will be told today that they have cancer.
“They are the ones who really need some love. Thank you.”
Turnbull said that he was diagnosed after long-term aches and pains which he had put down to “old age” were no longer being alleviated with pills.
He wants others to know his condition to encourage people to get tested, saying that “maybe if I’d got it earlier and stopped it at the prostate, I’d be in a much better state”.
The disease, which had been developing in his prostate, has spread to his legs, hips, pelvis and ribs.
“The worst thing is, you carry it through the day and then you go to bed at night and wake up in the morning and it comes to you again. I have got cancer. I’ve still got cancer. It wasn’t a bad dream. And that takes a lot of dealing with,” the broadcaster said.
His consultant hopes he can live for another 18 years.
Turnbull’s interview comes after Stephen Fry revealed he recently underwent surgery for the disease.
Anyone with any concerns can speak to Prostate Cancer UK’s specialist nurses on 0800 074 8383 or visit prostatecanceruk.org
:: The Great Celebrity Bake Off For Stand Up To Cancer airs on Tuesday at 8pm.