Steph McGovern touched by surprise message from Bill Turnbull as she makes farewell BBC Breakfast appearance

He shared a story about his first impressions of her from when they worked together

Departing BBC star Steph McGovern shared a fond memory of working with BBC Breakfast favourite Bill Turnbull as she received an on-air send-off earlier today.

The 37-year-old business presenter popped into the BBC studio as a guest to discuss her new Channel 4 current affairs show – and ended up receiving plenty of warm tributes from long-term colleagues.

Journalist Steph seemed particularly touched to be honoured by former host Bill, 63, who has been battling cancer.

“Ah Bill, I love Bill,” she reacted as presenter Dan Walker revealed he had recorded a video message to wish Steph all the best.

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Presenter Dan Walker introduced the short clip: “A familiar face to you and to many, many of our viewers as well, Bill Turnbull wanted to send you this as well.”

With Bill sitting in front of shelves of books, the telly veteran began warmly: “Hi Steph, Bill Turnbull here.”

We always knew you had star quality.

He went on to recall: “I remember your first day on the sofa, you were such a shy retiring wallflower and you haven’t changed a bit!”

Bill continued, with affection: “We always knew you had star quality, you are going to do great things and I wish you all the very best.”

‘You haven’t changed a bit!’ (Credit: BBC iPlayer)

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Mum-of-one Steph – who announced the birth of her baby daughter in November – then shared her own sweet little anecdote from her time working with ex Strictly Come Dancing contestant Bill.

“I remember one of my funniest things with Bill, when I first started we had this row over the word ‘poor’, how to say it,” she revealed.

“He was like: ‘I know you’ve got an accent but maybe you should say ‘poor’ [pronounced ‘paw’, rather than ‘poo-er’] like we say it.’

“[And I said] I’m absolutely not saying ‘paw’ because I’ll never be allowed back in Middlesborough again!”

She explained: “You know, in the lovely way he said it… he was so kind to me at the beginning.”

BBC Breakfast airs every day at 6am on BBC One.

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