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Friday 21 October 2016

Bill Turnbull getting to grips with 21st Century technology for return to radio

Published 08/04/2016 | 14:41

Bill Turnbull is returning to radio, with Classic FM
Bill Turnbull is returning to radio, with Classic FM

New Classic FM presenter Bill Turnbull will have to overcome his nerves about pushing "the wrong button" when he makes his debut on Saturday.

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Turnbull, former host of BBC Breakfast, has plenty of experience as a radio presenter - but the technology has completely changed since he was last on the airwaves.

He started in commercial radio at Radio Clyde in 1978, and also presented 5 Live with Sheila Fogarty in the 90s.

Explaining his nerves about a return to radio, he said: "They don't have records, you see.

"My first days in radio, you had a couple of turntables and a stylus and you knew what you were going to play because you had it in your hand. Now it's somewhere on a hard drive."

The presenter will host two new programmes on the classical music station, swapping his weekday early mornings for the BBC breakfast show for a more relaxing 10am to 1pm slot on Saturdays and Sundays.

Speaking from the Classic FM studio in London, he said: "I 'm sitting in a control room here now which has three sets of faders, a whole load of buttons, and no fewer than six computer screens.

"So I will have somebody to support me technically, fortunately, because otherwise it's very, very easy to push the wrong button."

The 60-year-old believes classical music can even provide a health benefit to its listeners.

He told the Press Association: " It lowers your blood pressure, I'm sure it lowers your blood pressure."

Turnbull continued: "It makes you settle down, I think it helps you to think a bit more, it's more mood-inducing of the right kind in the longer-term, I suppose.

"As I've got older it's something I've wanted to listen to more, because it's more complex, isn't it? It's deeper, it has more things to say than a three-minute single."

He is also looking forward to renewing a "friendship" with his fans from BBC Breakfast, having retired from the famous red sofa in February.

He said: " I hope that many of the people who will be listening will be people who have been watching me on Breakfast over the past 15 years.

"It will be lovely to re-engage with them and renew what is, I think, a friendship.

"I've had a fair number of people getting in touch on Twitter, saying that they're looking forward to it very much. It's almost embarrassing, actually, the number of people who have come up to me since I left Breakfast, saying hello and saying thank you very much, and saying how much they miss me, and that sort of thing.

"I hadn't quite realised - not how important I was, but how important that relationship would be. So to be able to get back in touch with them over the airwaves on Classic will be a great thing."

Press Association

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