Bill Turnbull: Classic FM presenter steps back from radio show for health reasons

Image caption,
Bill Turnbull has presented on Classic FM, BBC Breakfast and Songs of Praise

Classic FM presenter Bill Turnbull has announced "with great regret" that he is to take a leave of absence from his radio show for "health reasons".

The former BBC Breakfast host was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017.

"The road has been a bit bumpy recently and I need to take some time to focus on getting better," he tweeted on Thursday, promising to return.

"I'm sorry to do this, as I absolutely love doing the programme, and have hugely enjoyed the past five years."

He added: "I am very grateful to friends and colleagues at Global [media company] for the love and support they have shown me. And I will be back, just as soon as I can be."

'Hugely loved'

Reacting to the announcement, a Classic FM spokesman said Turnbull was "a hugely valued and loved member" of the team.

"We wish him all the very best as he takes time away from his programmes to concentrate on getting better," he continued.

"Along with our listeners, we look forward to welcoming back him on air as soon as he can be."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Turnbull presented on the BBC Breakfast sofa from 2001 until 2016. Dan Walker, a current presenter on the morning news programme, posted a message of support online.

"Wishing you all the very best Bill. Take care of yourself," wrote the Strictly star.

In 2018, Turnbull described dealing with cancer every day as "relentlessly boring" and admitted he asked doctors to stop his "unbearable" chemotherapy.

Media caption,
Turnbull gives an update on his cancer treatment

The 65-year-old former Songs of Praise and Think Tank presenter documented his treatment in a Channel 4 documentary called Staying Alive.

He was also praised by the NHS for having encouraged viewers to get tested for cancer.

What are the symptoms?

There can be few symptoms of prostate cancer in the early stages, and because of its location most symptoms are linked to urination:

  • needing to urinate more often, especially at night
  • needing to run to the toilet
  • difficulty in starting to urinate
  • weak urine flow or taking a long time while urinating
  • feeling your bladder has not emptied fully

Men with male relatives who have had prostate cancer, black men and men over 50 are at higher risk of getting the disease.

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