Bill Turnbull taking leave of absence from Classic FM show for ‘health reasons’ four years after prostate cancer diagnosis  

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  • The presenter, who appeared on BBC Breakfast from 2001 to 2016, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017.
  • Announcing the news on social media on Thursday, he said that he is taking a break from his weekend schedule, which he has put forward for five years.

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Bill Turnbull has announced that he is withdrawing from his show on Classic FM for ‘health reasons’.

The presenter, 65, who appeared on BBC Breakfast from 2001 to 2016, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017.

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Announcing the news on Twitter on Thursday, he said he was taking a “leave of absence” from his weekend schedule, which he has put forward for five years.

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‘I need to focus on getting better’: Bill Turnbull reveals he is taking a leave of absence from classic FM show for ‘health reasons’ four years after being diagnosed with prostate cancer (pictured in 2021)

Bill told his fans: ‘It is with great regret that I am taking a break from my show @classicfm for health reasons. The road has been a bit rough lately, and I need to take some time to focus on getting better.

‘I’m sorry to have to do that, because I love to program, and I’ve enjoyed a lot over the past five years.

‘I am so grateful to friends and colleagues @global for the love and support they have given me. And I will be back as soon as possible.’

Strong: Presenter, 65, who appeared on BBC Breakfast from 2001 to 2016, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017

Strong: Presenter, 65, who appeared on BBC Breakfast from 2001 to 2016, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017

A Classic FM spokesperson said: ‘Bill is a highly valued and beloved member of the Classic FM and Global family.

“We wish him all the best as he takes time out from his schedule to focus on getting better.

‘Along with our listeners, we look forward to welcoming them back on air as soon as possible.’

The presenter revealed his prostate cancer diagnosis in March 2018, saying he was diagnosed last November, and detailed his treatment in a Channel 4 documentary titled Staying Alive.

Hardik: He took to Twitter on Thursday to share the news with fans

Hardik: He took to Twitter on Thursday to share the news with fans

Support: Dan Walker of BBC Breakfast was among those who wished Bill

Support: Dan Walker of BBC Breakfast was among those who wished Bill

He had previously said that he was diagnosed after prolonged aches and pains, which he put into ‘old age’, were no longer being eased by pills.

After his diagnosis was made public, Turnbull became an advocate for a prostate cancer charity and encouraged others to get tested, saying: ‘Maybe if I’d gotten it earlier and stopped it on the prostate, So I would have been in a much better position.

Dan Walker of BBC Breakfast was among those who wished Bill, tweeting: ‘Wishing you all the very best. Your care.’

It comes after Bill urged men to go in for a prostate exam amid his battle with terminal cancer in an emotional interview.

The Advocate: This comes as Bill urged men to go in for a prostate exam amid their battle with terminal cancer in an emotional interview

The Advocate: This comes as Bill urged men to go in for a prostate exam amid their battle with terminal cancer in an emotional interview

He said: 'I didn't get tested, which is why I am in the position I am in now.  And we were working the other day;  The first symptoms were probably six months, eight months before I was diagnosed, with aches and pains that didn't go away.

He said: ‘I didn’t get tested, which is why I am in the position I am in now. And we were working the other day; The first symptoms were probably six months, eight months before I was diagnosed, with aches and pains that didn’t go away.

The broadcaster spoke to Gethin Jones and Kim Marsh on BBC Morning Live in November, where they admitted that they experienced symptoms for months before their diagnosis.

He said: ‘I didn’t get tested, which is why I am in the position I am in now. And we were working the other day; The first symptoms were probably six months, eight months before I was diagnosed, with aches and pains that didn’t go away.

‘And there were actually other warning signs over the years that I should have paid attention to.’

‘Men don’t want to go to doctors, that simple. I didn’t want to go to the doctor. Now I am going to the doctor all the time. They all know me on a first name basis.

Symptoms of prostate cancer include pain or burning during urination or ejaculation. Frequent urination, especially at night, difficulty stopping or starting…

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