'BBC Breakfast's' Bill Turnbull remembered as 'great friend and great man' as he is laid to rest

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·3-min read
Bill Turnbull had battled prostate cancer. (PA)
Bill Turnbull had battled prostate cancer. (PA)

Bill Turnbull was remembered as “a great friend and a great man” as the broadcasting world said goodbye to him at his funeral.

The former BBC Breakfast star passed away earlier this month aged 66, following a battle with prostate cancer.

BBC broadcasters including Sian Williams, Susanna Reid, Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty were among those who celebrated his life at a private ceremony at Holy Trinity church in Blythburgh, Suffolk, on Friday (16 September).

Read more: Bill Turnbull: Susanna Reid leads tributes after death of BBC Breakfast co-host

Martha Kearney, Mike Bushell, Louise Minchin, Charlotte Hawkins and Nick Robinson were also among the mourners.

Susanna Reid and Sian Williams were among the mourners. (PA)
Susanna Reid and Sian Williams were among the mourners. (PA)

Williams – who presented BBC Breakfast with Turnbull for more than a decade - told the PA news agency: “I think it is a day of sadness and reflection, and I hope sometime today there will also be time to celebrate his life because he was a great friend and a great man.

“And he has so many different connections to so many different people who cherish him that I hope we can have that time together where we can share those memories."

A general view of Holy Trinity Church in Blythburgh, Suffolk, before mourners arrive for the funeral of TV presenter and journalist Bill Turnbull. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2022.
Bill Turnbull's funeral was held at Holy Trinity Church in Blythburgh, Suffolk. (PA)

The TV star said she wished Turnbull knew "how much he was valued".

"I think it is incredible the number of people here who just wanted to come and celebrate and pay their respects to him," she went on.

“Bill made a lot of friends and he was a very loyal friend and he was great to work with as a professional, but when you’re sitting alongside someone like that there is a lot of trust that goes with that.

EDITORS NOTE NO CROPPING - IMAGE MUST BE USED AS RECEIVED Pallbearers carry the coffin of TV presenter and journalist Bill Turnbull into Holy Trinity Church in Blythburgh, Suffolk for his funeral. Picture date: Friday September 16, 2022.
Pallbearers carry the coffin of TV presenter and journalist Bill Turnbull. (PA)

“I think the reason that so many people have turned out today to pay their respects – to think about him and share memories of him and to celebrate him – is because he was a good man.

“He was a great bloke, he was great to work with, he was a great friend and you see that here with the number of people who wanted to express that.”

Munchetty, who shared the red sofa with Turnbull for several years, said she would remember the TV star as a “funny, charming, cheeky guy”.

Naga Munchetty said she would remember Bill Turnbull as a 'funny, charming, cheeky guy'. (PA)
Naga Munchetty said she would remember Bill Turnbull as a 'funny, charming, cheeky guy'. (PA)

“Bill was the grammar hammer; he was so on top of his grammar plurals, singulars… He was all over it,” she said.

“He was passionate about the job and passionate about the journalism and passionate about the audience. The audience was all that mattered and all that does matter and Bill never forgot that – he was a joy to sit beside."

Munchetty said it was "always fun" sharing the sofa with Turnbull and that he was all about the audience.

Undated handout photo issued by Classic FM of Bill Turnbull who has announced he is stepping back from his show on Classic FM for
Bill Turnbull announced his diagnosis in 2018. (Classic FM)

Turnbull was on BBC Breakfast from 2001 to 2016 and was a favourite with viewers.

Read more: Bill Turnbull has 'good days and bad days' in cancer treatment

He was diagnosed with cancer in 2017 and went public with his diagnosis in 2018.

Additional reporting from PA.

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