Bill Turnbull

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Former BBC Breakfast Presenter

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The beekeeper and tango specialist reported from the US and anchored network news before settling on the BBC Breakfast sofa. Bill recounts tales of interviews not going to plan, on-air mispronunciations, and reporting on some of the biggest news stories of recent times.


After presenting a raft of news bulletins, Bill Turnbull became synonymous with BBC Breakfast, hosting the programme for 15 years. He also built a considerable following with his doughty performance on Strictly Come Dancing, and went Around the World in 80 Days for Children in Need.

Bill first joined the Breakfast team as a reporter, covering the Lockerbie disaster and the revolution in Romania. Later, as a roving correspondent, he had a front row seat at everything from presidential elections to street riots in more than thirty countries. He also spent four years as BBC Washington Correspondent. This coincided with the OJ Simpson trial and the Lewinsky scandal - although what sticks more in Bill’s mind is a rain drenched broadcast live from the middle of a Florida hurricane.

In addition, Bill has hosted the BBC One quiz show Think Tank, and his own show on Classic FM. He’s appeared on Celebrity Mastermind, Pointless Celebrities (alongside Sian Williams - they won), Room 101, and Would I Lie To You? He’s had cameo appearances on Doctor Who and in the video for Professor Green’s track Remedy. Away from the studio he’s written about his love of beekeeping in his book The Bad Beekeepers Club, and run the London Marathon five times.

An accomplished live host, Bill combines professionalism with a perfect balance of seriousness and entertainment. After dinner he recounts a wealth of stories from his life in broadcasting featuring famous and infamous interviews, mispronunciations, autocue malfunctions, winding up celebrity chefs and events behind the scenes of Strictly.

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