HEARTBROKEN BBC hosts including Susanna Reid and Naga Munchetty gathered together today as as ex-Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull was laid to rest.
The presenter, 66, tragically died on August 31 after a "challenging and committed fight against prostate cancer".
Devastated family and friends said a final goodbye to Bill in a private ceremony at Holy Trinity church in Blythburgh, Suffolk, today.
The dad's coffin was carried into the church by his two sons and son-in-law.
Bill's coffin was adorned with a red rose and purple bouquet.
His former BBC colleagues including Sian Williams, Charlie Stayt, Susanna Reid and Naga Munchetty were among those paying tribute.
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Other famous faces included Martha Kearney, Mike Bushell, Louise Minchin, Charlotte Hawkins and Nick Robinson.
BBC Breakfast presenter Munchetty said: "Bill was the grammar hammer; he was so on top of his grammar plurals, singulars… He was all over it.
"He was passionate about the job and passionate about the journalism and passionate about the audience.
"The audience was all that mattered and all that does matter and Bill never forgot that – he was a joy to sit beside.
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"To sit next to Bill was always an experience, it was always fun, it was always focused but it was also about the audience.
"It was telling the story, being part of the story, which is always a privilege, and hearing people's experiences and helping to relay those to our audience.
"It was the audience – that's what Bill was about."
Bill's family confirmed the heartbreaking news he had passed away from the disease on September 1.
His heartbroken wife Sarah McCombie said: "Our lovely Billy died yesterday evening almost five years after being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
"The last week of his life was very special, as the whole family was with him and we shared some wonderful moments.
"Even though he was often in pain, Bill was dignified and brave throughout, and he was his usual determined self right to the very end.
"Billy made us laugh every day and we are immensely proud of him – he was the heart of our family. It's hard to imagine life without him."
His family also described him as a "wonderful husband and father to his three children".
Bill had bravely spoken out about his diagnosis and said previously he felt "very calm" about facing death.
He also used his platform to urge people to go and get tested for prostate cancer.
The presenter said: "I've thought a great deal about death since I was diagnosed with cancer because he's there, y'know – the fella with the hood over his head and the scythe. He's waiting, and that's fine.
"I've developed quite a healthy relationship with death, I feel very, very calm about it because I've given it a lot of thought.
"There's no way I'm going to imagine I can live forever, nor would I really want to."
The veteran presenter hosted BBC Breakfast for 15 years until his departure in 2016.
He became a household favourite as he presented each morning alongside his fellow hosts, including Sian Williams, Susanna Reid, Kate Silverton, Natasha Kaplinsky and Louise Minchin.
After he left, he went on to host a show on Classic FM and had spots on Songs of Praise and game show Think Tank.
In 2005, Bill came sixth on the third series of Strictly Come Dancing.
He also appeared on an episode of Great British Bake Off for Stand Up to Cancer in 2017 where it was later revealed he was diagnosed with prostate cancer during filming.
More recently, the presenter fronted several episodes of ITV's Good Morning Britain where he reunited with Susanna.
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He also fronted documentary Bill Turnbull: Staying Alive for Channel 4 where he explored the use of cannabis oil for medicinal purposes.
Bill returned to Classic FM last month after previously stepping down due to his "bumpy" cancer journey.
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