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Bill Turnbull
Born William Robert Jolyon Turnbull
(1956-01-25) 25 January 1956 (age 58)[citation needed]
Guildford, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Ethnicity British
Occupation Journalist & news presenter
Notable credit(s) BBC Breakfast
Spouse(s) Sarah McCombie (1988–present)
Children Henry (born October 1988)
Will (born October 1989)
Flora (born August 1991)

William Robert Jolyon "Bill" Turnbull (born 25 January 1956) is a British journalist and presenter, currently employed by the BBC and best known for presenting BBC Breakfast. He is the main male presenter of Breakfast broadcast on BBC One and BBC News, presenting alongside Louise Minchin each Monday–Wednesday.

Early life[edit]

Turnbull was born in Surrey, South East England, to an English father of Scottish ancestry and an English mother. He was educated at Eton College in Berkshire, followed by the University of Edinburgh, where he edited the student newspaper.

Career history[edit]

Bill Turnbull's career began at Scottish local station Radio Clyde in 1978, and later he freelanced for a number of years in the USA.

He joined the BBC as a reporter for the Today programme in 1986 and Breakfast Time as a reporter in 1988, before becoming a correspondent for BBC News in 1990. He covered a wide range of domestic and international stories, reporting from over thirty countries including a four-year stint as Washington Correspondent, based in the USA. His producer for a while was Sian Williams. In this role he reported on a whole swathe of major American stories, including the O.J. Simpson murder trial and the Monica Lewinsky scandal that rocked Bill Clinton's presidency.

In 1997 Turnbull moved back to the UK and into the studio to become one of the main presenters on BBC News 24, appearing alongside Valerie Sanderson. He also presented regular programmes on Radio 5 Live, including a stint as a presenter on Weekend Breakfast.

He joined the BBC Breakfast team in 2001 as a weekend presenter, presenting alongside Sian Williams initially and then later Sarah Montague, Mishal Husain and Susanna Reid. He also regularly appeared as a relief presenter on the weekday programme with Sophie Raworth, Natasha Kaplinsky, Kate Silverton and Louise Minchin. In 2008 he became the main weekday presenter of Breakfast rejoining Williams, replacing Dermot Murnaghan. He was also an occasional relief presenter of News at Six and News at One.

As well as anchoring programmes in the studio, he regularly presents on location. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he was sent to New Orleans to report for BBC News, presenting both Breakfast and the News at Six live from Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi. In the aftermath of the 7 July 2005 London bombings, Bill anchored Breakfast's coverage live from King's Cross railway station. Bill fronted the programme's coverage of the 2008 US Presidential election live from Washington and New York. He was in Washington, D.C. once again for the 2012 us presidential election.

In April and May 2010 Turnbull travelled around the UK presenting and reporting for Breakfast on the General Election campaign trail.[1][2] In June 2010 he presented Breakfast live from Whitehaven in the aftermath of the Cumbria shootings. Bill now presents the BBC Breakfast show from Salford, with Susanna Reid and Louise Minchin.

Other TV appearances[edit]

In 2005, he was a contestant in the third series of the BBC dancing competition Strictly Come Dancing, paired with Karen Hardy. In spite of a serious ankle injury in the second week (which then flared up at various points in the series), he stayed in the competition seven weeks, finishing sixth out of twelve contestants.

In August 2006, he agreed to take part in a polyphasic sleep experiment presented on BBC One's The One Show programme. In this experiment he slept for a total of three hours per day, in six thirty-minute bursts, for ten consecutive days. The effect of this sleep pattern on his health was plain to see as he presented Breakfast almost every weekday during the duration of the exercise and became increasingly sleep deprived.[3]

In November 2006, Turnbull performed on screen with the BBC News presenters for Children in Need in a performance which Jan Moir, writing for The Telegraph described as "charisma-free" and adding that although Turnbull dressed up like James Bond, he looked like a "dodgy sommelier."[4]

Turnbull also appeared in, and won, an episode of the BBC celebrity game show School's Out broadcast on BBC One, Saturday 11 August 2007.

In September 2007, Bill appeared on the celebrity version of ITV1 gameshow Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? alongside his BBC Breakfast co-presenter Sian Williams. The pair played to raise money for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

On 28 October 2007 he made a guest appearance on the children's television show SMart. In January 2008 he appeared on Celebrity Mastermind. His specialist subject was Beekeeping.

In 2009, he took part in the BBC series Around the World in 80 Days with Breakfast colleague Louise Minchin for Children in Need, travelling from Mongolia, through Russia and South Korea, before crossing the Pacific on a container ship and landing in California.[5]

In 2011 he also made an appearance on the BBC show Pointless alongside his BBC Breakfast co-presenter Sian Williams, which they won raising money for charity. He also appeared alongside Lee Mack and Louie Spence on the panel quiz show Would I Lie To You?, and made a guest appearance as himself in "The Wedding of River Song", the finale of the sixth series of Doctor Who.

In 2012 he appeared in Professor Green's music video for "Remedy".

In 2013 he joined the presenting team of the BBC's flagship religious programme Songs of Praise and also appeared in an episode of Room 101.

Personal life[edit]

Turnbull married Sarah McCombie in March 1988 in the London Borough of Hackney. The couple have two sons, Henry and Will (born October 1988 and October 1989), and a daughter Flora (born August 1991). Bill and his wife previously lived in Buckinghamshire but had to relocate to Rainow, Cheshire in 2012 following BBC Breakfast moving to Salford.[6]

Turnbull is a fan of Wycombe Wanderers football club[7] where he commentates on home games for online listeners. His hobbies include beekeeping, chickens and dancing. In addition Turnbull enjoys long distance running, having competed in the London Marathon on a number of occasions, and the Great North Run on 5 October 2008. On 8 September 2009, Turnbull was made an honorary doctor at Bucks New University in recognition of his charity work within the Buckinghamshire community.

In May 2010, he published The Bad Beekeepers Club, a humorous book about the ups and downs of beekeeping.


  1. ^ General Election 2010 – television, radio, online, mobile and interactive. Bbc.co.uk (6 April 2010). Retrieved on 9 February 2013.
  2. ^ ANDREW GREAVES: 'Expect Brown to come out fighting today' The Bolton News, 12 April 2010
  3. ^ Bill Turnbull's diary over polyphasic sleep period BBC – The One Show
  4. ^ Why can't newsreaders just read the news? Daily Telegraph, 8 November 2006
  5. ^ Around The World Feature BBC Press Office
  6. ^ BBC Breakfast, BBC 1, 11 April 2012
  7. ^ Bill Turnbull biography, 19 February 2011

External links[edit]

Video clips[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Darren Jordon
Weekend Presenter of BBC Breakfast
Succeeded by
Charlie Stayt
Preceded by
Dermot Murnaghan
Weekday Presenter of BBC Breakfast

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Turnbull — Please support Wikipedia.
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55113 videos foundNext > 

BBC Breakfast's Susanna Reid Picks A Fight With Bill Turnbull

The BBC Breakfast sofa can be a dangerous place.

BBC News Professor Green and Bill Turnbull #039 s rap battle mp4

BBC Breakfast - 'The Thing' (by Turnbull & Williams)

During Sian Williams' last appearance on BBC Breakfast on 15 March 2012, they broadcast this short and very funny footage about how she and her regular co-pr...

BBC Breakfast with Susanna Reid and Bill Turnbull

Susanna Reid and Bill Turnbull opening BBC Breakfast on Thursday, October 06, 2011.

Breakfast news with Bill Turnbull - The Sarah Millican Television Programme Preview - BBC Two

More information about this programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01qgm20 Sarah wonders if she'd be able to host Breakfast TV and finds herself on the ...

Bill Turnbull banishes low slung jeans - Room 101 - Series 2 Episode 7 Preview - BBC One

More about this programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01qqw83 BBC Breakfast's Bill Turnbull wants to put low slung jeans into Room 101, and he doesn't ...

Breakfast 170511 Brigitte Nielsen's breasts comfort Bill Turnbull yt

Did Bill Turnbull Drink Rum From A Skull? - Would I Lie To You? - Series 5 Episode 9 - BBC One

More about this programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b017smql Bill Turnbull claims he has drunk rum from a human skull. But is he telling the truth?

BBC Breakfast with Sian Williams and Bill Turnbull - 2003

BBC Breakfast presenting with Sian Williams and Bill Turnbull Recorded: 4th July 2003 Source: VHS (UPC-NL)

Bill Turnbull on Getting Stung

Appearance at Bartram's Garden on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 to promote his new book "Confessions of a Bad Beekeeper."

55113 videos foundNext > 

43 news items

Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:06:20 -0700

“I love Derek,” Ricky told presenter Bill Turnbull. “I wish I was like him all the time. I love shuffling around like him. I think Derek is me before the weight of the world started bearing down and you had to worry about what you said and what you ...

BBC News

Huffington Post UK
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 01:31:31 -0700

My experience of news presenting has always been with someone else in a partnership or a team. When big things break, it means you can share the reporting of it. “I've been lucky in that I've worked with the best in breakfast television. Bill Turnbull ...

Manchester Evening News

Manchester Evening News
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 13:15:00 -0700

Paolo, whose current single is called Scream (Funk My Life Up), jigged his way across Salford Quays after his early-morning appearance on the show - in which host Bill Turnbull had to request he take his sunglasses off on screen. But the rock 'n ...

Northampton Herald and Post

Northampton Herald and Post
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 23:00:00 -0700

Bill Turnbull introduces a live Easter Sunday service from Leicester Cathedral with rousing hymns lead by the cathedral choir and musicians from the Graff Orchestra. Everton v Manchester United (4pm, Sky Sports 1). The Toffees host the Reds at Goodison ...
Falkirk Herald
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 08:00:00 -0700

At 6 p.m. Bill Turnbull from Larbert will be speaking. The hour of prayer is on Wednesday at 7.30 p.m. All welcome. Parish Church. Public worship on Easter Sunday is at 11 a.m. and will be led by the Reverend Andrew Moore. Crèche and Sunday school meet ...

New York Daily News

New York Daily News
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:29:39 -0700

The longtime columnist, writer and former Daily News editor-in-chief was given one of the most prestigious accolades in the world of reporting Friday. His brother Denis Hamill, also an award-winning News' columnist, accepted on his behalf, saying Pete ...

Get Bucks

Get Bucks
Thu, 27 Mar 2014 03:10:30 -0700

BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull – whose children attended the school – shared stories of his own school days, before the children ended the day by singing the school song. Headteacher Pat Farmer said: “I think doing something like this makes it ...

Stoke Sentinel

Stoke Sentinel
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 06:35:37 -0700

AS Susanna Reid moves to ITV, leaving a bereft Bill Turnbull marooned in Salford, The Battle For Britain's Breakfast heads back 30 years to the birth of Bran Flakes TV. On January 17, 1983, the BBC launched Breakfast Time, British television's first ...

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