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For other people named William Turnbull, see William Turnbull (disambiguation).
Bill Turnbull
Born William Robert Jolyon Turnbull
(1956-01-25) 25 January 1956 (age 59)[citation needed]
Guildford, Surrey, England
Ethnicity British
Occupation Journalist and news presenter
Notable credit(s) BBC Breakfast
Spouse(s) Sarah McCombie (m. 1988)
Children Henry (b.1988)
Will (b.1989)
Flora (b.1991)

William Robert Jolyon "Bill" Turnbull (born 25 January 1956) is a British journalist and presenter, currently employed by the BBC.

He is the main male presenter of BBC Breakfast, and also regularly hosts the religious series Songs of Praise.

Early life[edit]

Eton College

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]

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

Turnbull 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 number 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 became 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 with 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 and replacing Dermot Murnaghan.Turnbull was also an occasional relief presenter of News at Six and News at One.

As well as anchoring programmes in the studio, Turnbull 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, Turnbull 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.

It was announced on 2 September 2015 that he will leave Breakfast in early 2016 after fifteen years.[3]

Other TV appearances[edit]

In 2005, he was a contestant in the third series of 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. 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.[4]

In November 2006, Turnbull performed 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."[5]

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

In September 2007, Bill appeared on the celebrity version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? with his BBC Breakfast co-presenter Sian Williams 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.[6]

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

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

In 2013, he joined the presenting team of the BBC's 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). Turnbull and his wife previously lived in Buckinghamshire but had to relocate to Rainow, Cheshire in 2012 following BBC Breakfast moving to Salford.[7]

Turnbull is a fan of Wycombe Wanderers football club[8] 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 Buckinghamshire New University in recognition of his charity work within the Buckinghamshire community.[9]

In May 2010, he published The Bad Beekeepers Club, a comedy 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 is to leave BBC Breakfast". BBC News. 2 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Bill Turnbull's diary over polyphasic sleep period BBC – The One Show
  5. ^ Why can't newsreaders just read the news? Daily Telegraph, 8 November 2006
  6. ^ Around The World Feature BBC Press Office
  7. ^ BBC Breakfast, BBC 1, 11 April 2012
  8. ^ Bill Turnbull biography, 19 February 2011
  9. ^ http://bucks.ac.uk/content/newsroom/2009/bbcbreakfast. Retrieved 2 June 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[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.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
106447 videos foundNext > 

Bill Turnbull dropping the c-bomb on BBC Breakfast

Bill Turnbull dropping the c-bomb on BBC Breakfast.

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The BBC Breakfast sofa can be a dangerous place.

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

BBC Presenter Bill Turnbull DROPS The C-BOMB On LIVE TV During BREAKFAST!!

The BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull had viewers spitting out their cornflakes this morning after swearing live on air. Turnbull made the gaffe whilst reading ...

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 ...

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BBC 12 Again: Episode 3 - CBBC - 20/07/2012 English subtitles available. Press the CC button under the video.

Bill Turnbull Is Leaving BBC For His Wife (And His Bees) - Newsy

"BBC Breakfast" co-host Bill Turnbull is leaving the show after 15 years. Why? Well, to spend more time with his wife. And his "neglected" bees. See more at ...

Bill Turnbull leaves the BBC after 15 years

BBC Morning News Show Anchor leaves after 15 years at the age of 59.

106447 videos foundNext > 

2520 news items

Rochdale Online

Rochdale Online
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 07:45:00 -0800

Presenting the awards, Bill Turnbull, said: "I was delighted to be part of the Pennine Acute Trust's annual staff awards. Such awards are a lovely way to recognise and thank local NHS staff and volunteers who really work hard to provide exceptional ...

Yahoo Celebrity UK

Yahoo Celebrity UK
Mon, 09 Nov 2015 01:52:33 -0800

Eamonn Holmes has said that he “couldn't work” on the salary of BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull. The TV host said the lower pay packet would put him off taking over from Bill, who is set to leave the Breakfast sofa in early 2016 after 15 years at ...


Wed, 04 Nov 2015 04:31:00 -0800

The I'm Outta Love songstress brightened up host Bill Turnbull's morning by sneaking up on him as he was talking about the weather and planting a kiss on his cheek. "It hardly ever happens to me at this time of day," joked Bill after the kiss was ...

Halstead Gazette

Huffington Post UK
Fri, 13 Nov 2015 00:53:14 -0800

The TV personality has ditched her trademark blonde bob and usual attire for something a little more cartoon-esque, donning the iconic superhero outfit - complete with knee-high striped boots and a skirt inspired by the American flag - as part of the ...

BBC News

BBC News
Sun, 22 Nov 2015 23:41:15 -0800

... Bridge of Spies - and he has told BBC Breakfast it was a tricky job to get the accent just right. And just when he thought he had got it spot on, he was given a late bit of advice from superstar singer Sting. He spoke to Breakfast's Bill Turnbull ...

BBC News

BBC News
Wed, 02 Sep 2015 00:45:20 -0700

The presenter told the Daily Mirror his tenure was "more than enough for me and the audience. So it is a good time to call it a day and do something else". "It was a long-term decision. I could see this coming up, and it was always the plan." He said ...
Dorset Echo
Wed, 25 Nov 2015 03:10:07 -0800

During the awards evening, which was hosted by the BBC's Bill Turnbull, 11 awards were presented to ex-servicemen and women at a glitzy ceremony in Manchester. The couple missed out on the top award, but Gill said that the couple were still honoured to ...

The Guardian (blog)

The Guardian (blog)
Mon, 23 Nov 2015 02:43:03 -0800

Self-indulgent, yes, but you have to admit this isn't something you would ever find Bill Turnbull doing. There were also moments where Morgan proved his worth as a journalist. During an early interview with shadow defence secretary Maria Eagle, he ...

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