Ex-BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull, 63, reveals he is trying cannabis in his painful battle with prostate cancer in emotional new Channel 4 documentary
- Turnbull was diagnosed in 2017 and has since had nine rounds of chemotherapy
- He is now speaking out in ‘Bill Turnbull: Staying Alive’ on Channel 4 next month
- Show will look at treatments and speak to celebrities who have battled cancer
- Eton-educated Turnbull has previously told of his ‘unbearable’ fight with disease
Bill Turnbull visits the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in South West London in May this year
Former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull has revealed he is trying cannabis during his battle with prostate cancer.
The 63-year-old presenter, who hosted the morning show for 15 years from 2001 to 2016, was diagnosed with incurable cancer in 2017 and has since had at least nine rounds of chemotherapy.
Now Turnbull is speaking out in ‘Bill Turnbull: Staying Alive’, a new Channel 4 documentary due to air next month which will look at treatments available for cancer sufferers.
The show will see him interview political reporter Nick Robinson, newsreader Sian Williams and presenter Stephen Fry, who have also all battled cancer.
A TV insider told The Sun: ‘This documentary shows Bill’s willing to do anything in a bid to beat the disease.
‘In this case it includes him trying a treatment which is considered unconventional – and even controversial.
‘But there is much more to the show, including showing the effect his cancer has had on his family.’
Turnbull told of his ‘unbearable’ prostate cancer battle on BBC Breakfast in an interview last December. He urged fellow cancer sufferers to ‘hold tight’ until the ‘dark’ times ease
Last December, Eton-educated Turnbull told of his ‘unbearable’ cancer battle as he made a return to BBC Breakfast.
The broadcaster has been praised for saving lives by telling of his fight against the disease and encouraging other men to be tested.
In April it was revealed a record 2.2million people were given NHS cancer checks in England last year – up from 1.9million in 2017.
The NHS said the high profile treatments of celebrities including Turnbull and Fry had helped increase awareness.
Speaking last year, he urged fellow cancer sufferers to ‘hold tight’ until the ‘dark’ times ease.
Turnbull, pictured in a photoshoot for Radio Times last October, has been praised for saving lives by telling of his fight against the disease and encouraging other men to be tested
Turnbull previously told how at one point he asked doctors to stop his chemo, saying: ‘I just couldn’t bear it any longer.’
Turnbull met a man who he inspired to get checked on the show last December. He told viewers: ‘You have a few days where you’re in shock and then you have a few weeks that are pretty dark.’
He added: ‘On this day when people are watching, there will be hundreds of people in Britain who will get a diagnosis – hundreds.
‘All I can say to them is hold tight, and things will…they won’t get better, but it won’t be quite as dark as it is now.’
Turnbull told last October how the cancer had spread to the bone – across his pelvis, hips, legs and spine.
Turnbull, pictured last October, said the cancer spread to the bone – across his pelvis, hips, legs and spine
He said it was no longer spreading but ‘hasn’t been beaten back entirely, adding: ‘We’re at a stalemate.’
Turnbull hosted BBC Breakfast for 15 years from 2001 to 2016
The number of men receiving treatment for prostate cancer rose by more than a third last year.
The head of NHS England labelled it the ‘Fry and Turnbull effect’ after Fry also revealed he has undergone prostate cancer surgery.
The pair have encouraged men with symptoms, such as having to urinate more frequently, to get tested.
The Daily Mail has campaigned for urgent improvement of prostate cancer diagnosis and treatments.
It is now the most common cancer affecting UK men with 21,000 diagnosed every year. However, many men still feel too embarrassed to go to the doctor.
Early diagnosis is vital – men diagnosed at a late stage have just a 22 per cent chance of surviving ten years, compared to a 98 per cent chance if diagnosed early.
The BBC Breakfast stalwart is pictured with his colleagues upon leaving the show in 2016
In April, BBC war correspondent Jeremy Bowen told how he was diagnosed with bowel cancer after going to the doctor with ‘funny pains’ in his back and legs.
The corporation’s Middle East editor had none of the usual symptoms of bowel cancer.
However, he noticed something was wrong with his back and legs in Iraq nearly a year ago, and initially put it down to old scars from surgery.
But after seeking medical help last autumn, he tested positive for cancer. Doctors carried out a colonoscopy and found a tumour, which they removed.