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Former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull, 64, was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago. The Classic FM presenter has now addressed what comforts him on the days where he feels “down”, in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk.
Particularly when I’m feeling down
Bill was told he had the incurable illness four years after stepping back from his hosting duties with BBC Breakfast.
The disease has since spread to his spine, ribs, pelvis, hips and legs.
While he has received chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radium injections to attack the tumours, he has now spoken of a different kind of support he has had through his health ordeal.
After Bill was asked whether his three adorable Labradors have helped along the way, he divulged: “Well, yes they do.
“I think it’s just lovely to be able to cuddle a dog.”
He continued: “We’ve got three black Labradors and every day I talk to them at great length about what’s going on in the world.
“I mean, as I speak, I’m sitting on the sofa, and I’ve got Nina next to me, she’s 15, and then just beyond her is Lola.
“They’re just chilling out. The effects of putting my hand on Nina’s back, which is what I’m doing now, [they] just bring endorphins.”
He added: “They’ve always been a comfort.
“But particularly when I’m feeling down, which I do occasionally, then it’s really good to be able to [cuddle them].
“They’re very cuddleable, certainly. Lola the youngest one, very, very fallible,” he revealed.
“And so we have a hug, and then you always feel better afterwards.”
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Bill is hosting Classic FM’s Pet Sounds, one of the station’s most popular programmes of the year.
It is his third year presenting the show to help anxious pets – and their owners – remain calm and relaxed throughout the fireworks season.
The BBC star recalled one listener’s story which has stuck with him.
Bill shared: “Here’s one. ‘Max was shaking and clinging on to our laps earlier.’
“‘He’s now chilled out in his bed with your lovely music on the iPad, relaxed, while explosions rain all around the house.'”
The radio host added: “I think there’s one from somebody whose dog was throwing himself at the windows.
“And then he heard the music and calmed right down.”
Classic FM’s Pet Sounds with Bill Turnbull will be broadcast tomorrow between 7pm to 9pm.
Classic FM is available across the UK on 100-102 FM, DAB digital radio and TV, on Global Player on your smart speaker (“play Classic FM”), iOS or Android device and at ClassicFM.com.
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