Chester-based TV presenter Louise Minchin said there will ‘definitely be tears’ when she bids farewell to her BBC Breakfast co-host Bill Turnbull tomorrow morning (Friday, February 26).
The 60-year-old announced in September that he was leaving the programme after almost 15 years and plans to spend more time indulging in his hobby of beekeeping, but the news hasn’t been easy for his Breakfast colleagues to take in.
Louise told The Chronicle: “I’m so sad he’s going. We’ve been working together about 10-12 years - neither of us can remember exactly how long but throughout that time, I’ve absolutely loved working with Bill.
RELATED STORY: Day in the Life: BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin
“He is so caring, the perfect gentleman and of course he comes with a huge wealth of journalistic knowledge. I’ll miss his jokes - his bad jokes. When I first started working here he made me promise to laugh at all his jokes, no matter what they were and I’ve kept that promise.”
“It’s been a real honour to be with him.”
And Louise hopes viewers will tune in to Bill’s final day on the famous sofa tomorrow where she promises Bill will receive an unforgettable send off.
“We have lots of plans and viewers should expect tears because there will definitely be some of those,” she said. “We’ve done a tape of his best bits and he’s been out reporting from places where he covered stories that really moved him, like the 1988 Lockerbie disaster.
RELATED STORY: BBC Breakfast at Chester Races for live broadcast
“The whole of the Breakfast team will be there and there will be an amazing cake, it’ll be very special and definitely worth a watch.”
Taking Bill’s place on the sofa will be Football Focus host Dan Walker, with whom Louise said she is looking forward to working.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be working with Dan, I’ve known him for years on different BBC programmes and knew him at the start of my presenting career. It’ll be a change working with a younger presenter where I’m the older one! But it’s going to be great to welcome him to the Breakfast sofa, we’re a lovely little team.
“And I’ll definitely keep in touch with Bill. One of the things I’ll miss most about him is the fact he had two labradors. I’ve got one too and he’s been brilliant in helping me train mine.
“Did you know we also travelled around the world together for a programme called ‘Around The World in 80 Days’ back in 2008?
“Bill and I spent three weeks together, travelling Mongolia, Russia, South Korea on the Transiberian Express and we just got on so well during that time," she added.
“You’d think three weeks with someone would be daunting but not with Bill. He opened every single door for me in those three weeks, what a gent. That really cemented our friendship.
“It’ll be sad to be presenting the show on Friday together for the last time but it’ll also be great. I hope people tune in!”