Bill Turnbull: BBC Breakfast star praised for emotional Channel 4 documentary

Bill Turnbull, 63, has received exceptional praise for his new documentary that aired on Channel 4 on Thursday, where he opens up about living with cancer. The former BBC Breakfast host revealed that he was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the end of 2017 and that it had spread to other parts of his body meaning the cancer is, as Bill described it, “incurable”.

The intimate documentary follows the journalist and his family as they adjust to living with the disease.

Viewers watched as the film showed the most personal moments of a cancer patient, following him as he underwent chemotherapy, tried cannabis for medicinal purposes and adopted a healthier diet.

“I’m not ready to say goodbye to all this,” he said as he sat around the dinner table with his family.

The Twitter reaction to the documentary was beyond positive, as fans praised him for opening up about his story and thanked him for shining a light on the relentless disease that affects so many people.

“Thank you to @Channel4 and #BillTurnbull for making this programme. An emotional and in-depth insight into Prostate Cancer, its impact and how it can be dealt with,” one fan said.

Another quipped: “Can we just take a moment to collectively love #billturnbull – yes yes yes. Cancer can just do one. #StandUpToCancer.”

“I salute you for your candour; your strength and your thoughts for others. #prostatecancer #respect #nottoday,” a third agreed.

There were hopeful reviews from people who had been diagnosed themselves or had loved ones suffering with prostate cancer, as the emotional insight helped highlight how important it is to stay positive in “dark times”.

“What an inspiring person. Thank you Bill. As a fellow suffer I related to much of what was said. Stay positive. #billturnbull,” one person said.

Another sent an emotional message: “Not sure I will get through this programme, my dad died from prostate cancer so it’s going to be tough, but full of admiration of #billturnbull for having the courage to make the film. Sending you all the best wishes in the world.”

In the documentary, Bill thanked his wife for being his “absolute rock though darker times.”

Sesi Turnbull featured a lot throughout the program “I’ve been so amazed with how brave you are Billy,” she said through tear-filled eyes.

Bill said he found it hard to talk about his kids because “I am so proud of them.”

He recalled how his son kept “badgering” him to go to the doctor: “If it wasn’t for my younger son, Will, my cancer would be worse.”

In heart wrenching scenes, the broadcaster opened up about how deceptive his “incurable” cancer is: “I feel like I’ve been making progress but I’m still ill.”

The broadcaster also appeared on BBC Breakfast via video link on Tuesday morning, reuniting with former co-stars Dan Walker and Naga Munchetty.

He said he was “feeling really very well” despite his illness.

“I’ve had no aches and pains for a long time and I feel remarkably cheerful and healthy,” he said with a smile as viewers flooded his Twitter to wish him the best.

Bill made it clear in the documentary that he wasn’t going to give up easily.

“I’m not dying yet, I just don’t feel that way. I understand that I may succumb to the disease eventually and that’s a very real possibility, a probability. But not for some time.”

”I say ‘Not today. In a couple of weeks time I might not feel so good. But right now you’re not having me’.”

Bill Turnbull: Staying Alive is available on Channel 4 catch up.