It was genuinely sad to see Bill Turnbull sign off his final appearance on the BBC Breakfast sofa this morning (subject to coming back as a guest).
He exudes real warmth, which is an unusual quality for a newsreader. With some people, it would be hard to tell if this was authentic or painted on, but not with Carol Kirkwood’s “Billy”. He’s clearly the real deal; an opinion that was only cemented by watching him walk his dogs in the Peak District during his last week on the programme, and reading that part of the reason he was leaving to spend more time with his bees.
In a gentle way, Turnbull was subtly subversive; cracking dad jokes one minute, then emanating sincerity the next. He was the perfect pair of hands to nudge the average sleep-encrusted British citizen through the early part of a working day. Without him, weekday mornings (and the odd Saturday) won't be the same. I’ll miss my secret daily game of guessing which presenters will be on duty when I switch the telly on first thing, and hoping one of them was him. He’s another of my secret man crushes, along with Paul Hollywood and Dick Van Dyke. I’d like to take them all on a fishing trip; whiling away the hours by a river as I listen to their anecdotes. Perhaps Billy might even admit an illicit affair with Carol after a few glugs from his hip-flask; the sly old fox.