BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin and Sally Nugent have hailed departing presenter Bill Turnbull ahead of his final show this morning.
The 60-year-old is leaving after 15 years on the sofa to spend more time with his family – and his bees.
The popular broadcaster has a passion for beekeeping.
Co-anchor Minchin, 47, spoke with warmth about Turnbull’s “effortless charm”.
“I have loved working with Bill and like many of our BBC Breakfast viewers, I will miss his effortless charm, his ability to get on with everyone, and that he can make me laugh even at six o’clock in the morning,” she said.
“I wish him lots of luck and I know we will stay in touch.”
Colleague Nugent commended his professionalism.
“Bill is a very rare thing – a television presenter who wants everyone on the programme to look good, not just himself.
“He is generous on air and off air. I think that’s why the Breakfast audience love him so much,” she stated.
Turnbull told The Mirror he had been “touched” by all the messages from viewers. He admitted he may shed a tear when his last programme comes to an end.
“I’ve been surprised and touched by all the people coming up to me saying, ‘sorry you are going’ and ‘thank you for being with us in the mornings’,” he said.
Turnbull joined BBC Breakfast in 2001.
Over the last 15 years, the nation has woken up to his calm, reassuring manner.
BBC Breakfast has been looking back at some of the defining moments of Turnbull’s career, including his reports about the Lockerbie bombing in 1988.
Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew members.
Eleven people on the ground also died.
Talking about the tragedy, Turnbull said: “It had an effect on all of us who were there. It was one of the biggest stories I covered.”
One memorable moment during the Eton-educated star’s tenure occurred in 2015 when he made an embarrassing slip-up live on air.
Turnbull appeared to have said “c***” instead of “client” while referring to reaction to a public health story.
He quickly regained his composure and carried on with the rest of the broadcast.
At the time, a BBC spokesman said he had “unintentionally stumbled over his words” as an apology for any offence caused was issued.
Turnbull later tweeted: “Memo to self: never confuse ‘customers’ with ‘clients’ on air. It’s just asking for trouble …”
The Guildford-born broadcaster has said BBC Breakfast will remain in his life because his wife is a regular viewer.
:: BBC Breakfast is broadcast at 6am on BBC One and BBC News.