Bill Turnbull died surrounded by loved ones after a five-year long battle with prostate cancer last week aged 66. The BBC Breakfast presenter went public with his battle in 2018 after being diagnosed a year before. 

In her latest column with The Mirror, Fiona Phillips, 61, paid tribute to her “brother” Bill, who she presented BBC show Holding Back The Years with.

“That show was the first and last time I ever worked closely with him and we clicked straight away,” she recalled.

“We had such a great time. Bill and I were quite miffed at first that we’d been chosen to present it because it was called Holding Back the Years and we were like ‘Hang on a minute!'”

The programme focused on wellbeing, particularly for older people, providing tips on how to stay well, live longer and be healthy.

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Following the news of his death, many of his former colleagues flocked to social media to pay tribute.

Susanna Reid, who he presented the BBC show with, told fan she was “heartbroken” by his passing.

She tweeted: “Bill was the kindest, funniest, most generous man in the business. I feel lucky to have worked with him and he taught me everything.

“But above all, he was devoted to his family and I am heartbroken for them. RIP Bill. We will miss you so much.”

In 2020, the pair reunited for hosting duties on Good Morning Britain following Piers Morgan’s departure.

Dan Walker, who took over from the presenter on the BBC show in 2016, also wrote on Twitter: “Bill Turnbull was so kind and generous when I took over from him on BBC Breakfast.

“He was full of brilliant advice and it was clear just how loved he was by his colleagues and the audience.

“It was an honour to sit on his sofa. My thoughts are with his family and friends.”

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