Bill Turnbull announces leave from Classic FM show for health reasons

Bill Turnbull on Sizewell beach Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Bill Turnbull has announced he will be stepping back from his Classic FM radio - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Suffolk resident and former BBC presenter Bill Turnbull has announced he will be stepping back from his Classic FM radio show, after five years, for 'health reasons'.

Turnbull, 65, was was diagnosed with prostate cancer a year after leaving BBC Breakfast and moving to Suffolk in 2016.

Announcing the news on Twitter, he said: “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.

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“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, he 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.”

Former Breakfast co-host, Sian Williams added: "Much love, rest up, take care."

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