Former BBC breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull opened up about his cancer diagnosis in a touching video at the end of the first episode of The Great Celebrity Bake Off.
The broadcaster took part in Channel 4’s Stand Up To Cancer special back in November, before being diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to his bones – as he revealed in an interview in Radio Times.
The clip aired at the end of the episode and showed Turnbull in hospital receiving treatment. The 62-year-old – who is undergoing a course of chemotherapy – discussed his struggle with his diagnosis, and encouraged men everywhere to get their prostates checked.
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“I prided myself on the fact that I had not been to see my GP for four years,” he said. “I was not aware that something in fact was going rather wrong inside me.
He added: “If I’d had a test a few years ago we would have diagnosed it earlier and knocked it on the head earlier and my survival possibilities would be a lot better.
“I’ve been blessed to have had a wonderful family who still give me joy every day. For me, being a father is the most challenging thing you can do, and the most fulfilling.” He then fought back tears as he went on to address his wife, Sarah: “I have been married for almost 30 years. And that, I consider to be… the best thing I’ve ever done.”
Fans on Twitter rallied around him after the episode, sharing messages of support. He had already endeared himself to viewers during the episode, producing honey from his own bees to use in his recipes.
Incredibly brave of Bill Turnbull to speak out about his experience like this, extremely moving ???? #GBBO
— Emma Bullimore (@EmmaBullimore) March 6, 2018
My heart breaks for Bill Turnbull. So tough to have gone through this and so brave for him to be public and encourage others to check. And good on Channel 4 for including this film in the show #GBBO
— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) March 6, 2018
— British Bake Off (@BritishBakeOff) March 6, 2018
#GBBO #BillTurnbull this has actually made me cry. Im a grown man who has been hit by cancer within my family and its horrible and to see bills story really hits me ???? all my love and wishes go to him and his family and all other cancer fighters. Get yourself checked guys!
— toby james ingram (@tobiasjatkin) March 6, 2018
— Emma (@EM51_BBY) March 6, 2018
— Amanda Wilson (@MayBitsjustme) March 6, 2018
— Amanda Moran-Soley (@millymolly123) March 6, 2018
The Great Celebrity Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer continues at 8pm on Tuesday 13th March on Channel 4
Stand Up to Cancer is a joint campaign between Cancer Research UK and Channel 4. It starts with the Bake Off celebrity specials (beginning with Turnbull’s episode on Tuesday 6th March at 8pm) and will culminate in a live evening of fundraising in teh autumn.
Since its launch in 2012, Stand Up to Cancer has raised more than £38 million, which has helped fund 40 new trials and projects, involving 10,000 cancer patients.
Research projects include the development of a “chemo-package” to deliver treatment at the best time for the patient; testing arsenic as a weapon to make cancer self-cannibalise; and using viruses to seek and destroy cancer cells while boosting the immune system.
For more information and to order a free fundraising pack, visit standuptocancer.org/uk/bake-off
For advice on prostate cancer symptoms go to cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/prostate-cancer
To donate £10 or £20 to Cancer Research UK, text Ten or Twenty to 70404 (full terms and conditions at SU2C.org.uk/terms)