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Bill Turnbull: BBC host leaves co-star in shock after addressing decision 'I walked away'

Former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull, 64, has surprised his podcast co-star Deborah James by admitting he decided to “walk away” from buying a dog. The television and radio personality shared the unexpected revelation after the Bowel Babe star insisted that “nobody goes to view a dog” without buying it while speaking on his Paws and Claws podcast.



Deborah got onto the subject when she shared her concerns that her husband would “go mad at her” for wanting to purchase a pooch.

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While explaining she got her dog a year before her Stage 4 bowel cancer diagnosis, the former teacher said: “I actually called my mum because I knew my husband would go mad at me, in a nice way, I knew he would persuade me not to get the dog.

“So I called my mum and said, ‘Mum, we’ve got to go to Oxford to view a dog.’ Nobody goes to view a dog, you just don’t view a dog.

“Anyway, I came home with the dog, I mean obviously, you come home with the dog, you don’t view a gorgeous puppy.

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Bill Turnbull leaves co-star in shock after addressing decision (Image: WENN•BBC)

Bill Turnbull admitted he ‘walked away’ from buying a dog (Image: WENN)

“You view it then you bring it home and then you work out what to do with it. So that’s how he came into my life.”

However, Bill then admitted he had a difference in opinion with Deborah and recalled deciding not to commit to one particular dog because he “didn’t like it” at the time.

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The Classic FM host told his co-star: “That’s where we differ Deborah because I have viewed a dog.

“I have driven a couple of hours to look at a dog and then walked away, I didn’t like the dog!”

Bill Turnbull left BBC Breakfast in 2016 (Image: WENN)

Bill Turnbull eventually found a dog he wanted to buy (Image: WENN)

Gasping in shock at Bill’s admission, Deborah quizzed: “Did you not love the dog?”

Bill went on to address his reasons behind the move, replying: “No, no!

“A number of reasons, it was a working Labrador set-up, I didn’t really like the way the dogs were kept.

“They were in runs, generously sized cages really to be honest, and I didn’t like the way the puppies had been raised and I’m a black Labrador person, I didn’t like the way it looked so I just didn’t.”

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Fortunately, Bill’s next experience trying to buy a dog was more successful.

He explained: “Having said that, there was another time when I drove two hours to see a dog that I couldn’t really see because it was dark when I got there and the dogs were rushing around and I thought, ‘That looks alright, I’ll have that.’

“And again I didn’t take it home, I just looked at it, went home and then came back later and she turned out to be one of our best dogs, pedigree Labrador, as long as your arm.”

Elsewhere, Bill recently gave an update on his health after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017.

The star returned to BBC Breakfast in a brief appearance alongside hosts Naga Munchetty and Dan Walker and informed viewers about his cancer treatment.

The former BBC presenter was discussing Wycombe Wanderers’ success on the programme after they secured a place in the second tier of English football for the first time in 130 years history of the club. 

Following the conversation about his team, Naga wanted to ask her former colleague for a health update. 

She quizzed Bill: “So what we want to know is, how are you?”

The star then explained: “I am pretty good at the moment, and I am on a new treatment and so far the results are encouraging. It’s a rollercoaster and you never want to look too far ahead.”


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