Saturday 22 October 2016

Bill Turnbull reveals who was his worst interview ever as he leaves BBC Breakfast

Anna Hackett

Published 26/02/2016 | 12:35

BBC Breakfast's Bill Turnbull
BBC Breakfast's Bill Turnbull

BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull has revealed his worst guest ever as he films his last show today.

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The 60-year-old presenter told the BBC that he tends to wipe the bad interviews from his mind, but did relate one story involving a popular singer and their manager.

“There was one instance where we had a singer, and 20 seconds before we went on air I was barking at his manager to get out of the studio because he was standing literally behind the sofa remonstrating with us about a question we wanted to ask.  Which we then did go on to ask," he revealed.

"That was one of the most difficult moments we've had because then it made for a rather fraught atmosphere. He apologised profusely afterwards. Naming no names. Tom Odell.”

Regarding his favourite interviews he chose an idol of his from when he was younger - Eric Burdon - as well as Talking Heads' David Byrne.

He added, "There was Wil Smith, who'd met a couple of times before and then he came in live and we gave him a 15-minute slot which we'd never done before."

As for his reasons for leaving the show Turnbull cited the dreadful early start he faced daily and the possibilities of different opportunities presenting themselves to him in the future.

“I have been presenting the programme for 15 years, and I think getting up at 3:30am does take its toll after a while.  And I want to seek fresh fields while I still can.”

However, he praised the show as being both in “really good shape” and in “very good hands” so does not feel any guilt about leaving.

At the end of his final show on Friday Morning Turnbull thanked viewers for "letting me into your home".

He said, "I've always believed it's a privilege to broadcast anywhere on the airwaves; to present this programme though has been a special honour.

"I've had a wonderful time with my colleagues who've had a lot to put up with over the years. Above all though, thank you for letting me into your home in the morning, whether it's in the kitchen, or the living room, or, as I'm often told, the bedroom.

"Whether you've been with us for the past 15 years or just this morning, I hope you've found it worthwhile. It certainly has been for me."

Celebrity fans including David Cameron, Frank Skinner and Miranda Hart sent farewell video messages to the presenter.

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The Prime Minister said: "Bill, throughout your career you have brought us the news from around the world , from war zones to the White House, but for the last 15 years we've been used to seeing you present from one iconic location - the BBC B reakfast sofa.

"Now the day has come for you to swap that sofa for a bed and those long-awaited lie-ins. So on behalf of all the people who are used to starting their day with you, thank you."

Dermot O'Leary said he would miss "that grumpy face of yours", while Chris Evans said: "Bill Turnbull at breakfast is no more, a nation weeps."

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Actor James Corden sent a message from LA, joking, "Bill, you beautiful specimen of a man. For so much of my life, you were my morning glory and I will miss waking up with you every day, but you're still going to be there when I fall asleep."

Next up for Turnbull is BBC One quiz show Think Tank due to air in the spring.  He also revealed he plans on writing and dabbling in radio and TV.

Oops! BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull makes c-word slip up on morning telly  

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