ENTERTAINMENT
02/09/2015 04:58 BST | Updated 02/09/2015 12:59 BST

Bill Turnbull Quits 'BBC Breakfast' After 15 Years To Spend More Time With His 'Neglected Bees'

Bill Turnbull has announced he is quitting 'BBC Breakfast'.

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The long-standing host has been with the broadcaster's early morning news programme for 15 years, but will step down from his role as the main male anchor in January 2016.

bill turnbull bbc breakfast

Bill Turnbull is leaving 'BBC Breakfast' and his co-stars are very sad about it

Bill revealed he had decided to leave in order to spend more time with both his wife Sarah and his "neglected bees”.

Speaking to The Mirror, Bill explained: "I agreed to come North for two years and it went so well I agreed to do another two years.

"That is coming to an end - by that time I will have been doing the show for nearly 15 years, which is more than enough for me and the audience.

"So it is a good time to call it a day and do something else. It was a long-term decision."

'Breakfast' moved to Salford, Manchester from its previous home at London's BBC Television Centre in 2012. Despite being based in the capital, Bill moved with the show.

bill turnbull susanna reid

Bill seen with former co-host Susanna Reid

He and his wife now plan to move to Suffolk, where he will be able to keep his beloved bees, which are currently on a farm in Buckinghamshire.

Bill added that having to get up at 3am everyday to present the show, had played a part in his decision to quit.

"You get hardened to it and I have done it thousands of times and it still never gets any easier," he explained.

"Doing that in combination with more than three hours of current affairs a day is tiring. There is no two ways about it."

Bill broke the news to viewers on Tuesday’s (1 September) edition of the ‘Breakfast’, telling his co-host Louise Minchin: “Certainly I am not looking forward to the last day because it will be a very emotional occasion.

“I am already trying to work out an anti-blubbing defence because that would be really awful to spill tears. But I know it will be a big day.”

His former co-star Susanna Reid quit the show last year to launch rival show 'Good Morning Britain' on ITV.

'BBC Breakfast' has continued to be more popular with viewers, attracting around 1.5m viewers daily, compared to GMB's 500,000.

'BBC Breakfast' airs daily from 6am on BBC One and BBC News.

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