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Former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull dies aged 66

BREAKING: His family released a statement this morning

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Former BBC Breakfast host Bill Turnbull has died at the aged of sixty-six, his family have announced.

They said in a statement this morning: “Following a challenging and committed fight against prostate cancer, Bill passed away peacefully at his home in Suffolk surrounded by his family on Wednesday August 31st.

“Bill was diagnosed in 2017 and has had outstanding medical care from the Royal Marsden and Ipswich hospitals, St Elizabeth hospice and his GP.

“He was resolutely positive and was hugely buoyed by the support he received from friends, colleagues, and messages from people wishing him luck. 

“It was a great comfort to Bill that so many more men are now testing earlier for this disease.

“Bill will be remembered by many as a remarkable broadcaster who brought warmth and humour into people’s homes on BBC Breakfast and Classic FM. He was also a devoted Wycombe Wanderers fan and an ever-aspiring beekeeper.

“Bill was a wonderful husband and father to his three children; his family and friends will miss how he always made them laugh, and the generosity and love he shared with those around him.”

Turnbull first announced his battle with the disease in 2018, following his diagnosis the previous year.

His former BBC Breakfast co-host Susanna Reid paid tribute to him on Twitter, writing: “Bill was the kindest, funniest, most generous man in the business. I feel lucky to have worked with him and he taught me everything.

“But above all, he was devoted to his family and I am heartbroken for them. RIP Bill. We will miss you so much.”

Former BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker added: “Bill Turnbull was so kind and generous when I took over from him on BBC Breakfast. He was full of brilliant advice and it was clear just how loved he was by his colleagues and the audience. It was an honour to sit on his sofa.”

Turnbull presented BBC Breakfast for fifteen years from 2001 to 2016.

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Andy Burnham says Avanti West Coast must improve or ‘contract should be terminated’

Avanti is running a heavily reduced timetable as a result of ‘unofficial strike action’

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The BMA / Flickr & TheFrog001 / Wikimedia Commons

Andy Burnham has urged the Transport Secretary to make Avanti West Coast run more trains to Manchester or terminate the firm’s contract.

In a letter to Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the mayor of Greater Manchester said he wants Avanti to run at least two services between Manchester and London per hour by the end of the month – or have their contract removed altogether. 

The Department for Transport has today placed the train firm on a short-term contract to challenge it to deliver the urgent increase in services required.

Back in August, the train company announced it would be reducing its services between Manchester and the capital to just one per hour as a result of ‘unofficial strike action’ by ASLEF members.

And over the last three weeks, an average of 10% of Avanti West Coast services between Manchester and London were either cancelled or significantly late. 

Over this same three-week time period, over a quarter of services (27%) have failed to arrive on time, according to Granada Reports.

Yet while Avanti has said it plans to return to an increased timetable by December 11th,  Burnham said it should happen sooner, and is calling for two trains per hour by the end of October, and three trains by December.

In his letter, Burnham wrote: “Unless this happens and is clearly communicated, train travel between our most important economic regions will continue to be chaotic, forcing people into their cars or into abandoning plans to travel entirely.

“These dreadful conditions would be unacceptable at any time but are particularly so now given the wholesale collapse of the timetable, something no other train company is experiencing at anything like this scale.

“Passengers face other challenges too. Tickets are still only being released a few days in advance, making planning for individuals and businesses impossible.

“Without this commitment, I will be unable to support a new contract for Avanti.”

In response, a spokesperson for Avanti West Coast said: “We are already delivering on our commitment to increase the number of services we are running between Manchester and London, with three or four trains an hour departing Manchester Piccadilly at the key times of the day.

“We remain focused on providing a reliable train service for our customers and restoring a full timetable of three trains an hour all day between London and Manchester, in December.

“Our revised timetable, with no reliance on overtime, is also proving more reliable – in the last week, we have run 300 trains between London and Manchester, with approximately one in thirty of them cancelled, mainly because of short-notice sickness.

“That compares with one out of thirteen trains cancelled back in mid-July.

“Nevertheless, we know that at the moment we’re not delivering the service our customers rightly expect and we apologise for the enormous frustration and inconvenience this is causing.

“We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding.”

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Tributes pour in for ‘gorgeous’ mum killed in Liverpool dog attack

Police say five American bulldogs have since been ‘humanely destroyed’

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Ann Dunn / Facebook & Granada Reports

Tributes have been pouring in for the ‘gorgeous’ mum who was mauled to death by five dogs in Liverpool.

Ann Dunn, sixty-five, died after being attacked by five American bulldogs in a property on St. Brigids Crescent, Vauxhall.

Merseyside Police were called out by paramedics on Monday October 3rd at around 4:25pm. However, Ann’s injuries were too serious and she was pronounced as dead at the scene.

Police say five American bulldogs, which were found inside the property, were handed over and have now been humanely destroyed.

Ann Dunn / Facebook

Officers also confirmed that a thirty-one-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of owning a dog dangerously out of control. He remains in custody.

Following the news of her death, people who knew Ann have paid their own tributes to the mum and grandmother on social media.

One person wrote on Facebook: “RIP gorgeous lady, still can’t believe it Ann. Had some good times with you I will never forget.”

She added: “I am all so heartbroken for you kids and family right now. Don’t want to even think how they feeling… So happy I got [sic] have old chat with you on Friday even though it was only for 10 minutes, keeping looking over your family.”

Another social media user added: “Heart breaking thinking of all the family, devastated for yous all. R.I.P lovely Ann.”

Ann Dunn / Facebook

Liverpool John Moores University, where Ann worked as a cleaner, also paid tribute to their ‘hard-working and dedicated’ employee.

They said: “The university community is absolutely shocked and devastated by this tragic loss and to lose Ann in this way is just heart-breaking. Ann was hard-working and dedicated and had so many friends across the organisation. It’s just awful and she will be terribly missed.

“Our thoughts at this time are with her family and loved-ones.”

Detective Inspector Katie Coote added: “This is clearly a very distressing incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the lady who died.

“Our enquiries remain ongoing as we seek to establish what has happened and I would urge anyone who could assist our enquiries to get in touch.”

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Man arrested after woman killed by ‘five dogs’ in Liverpool

The dogs have since been ‘humanely destroyed’

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Granada Reports & BBC Breakfast

A man has been arrested after a woman was killed after she was attacked by five dogs in a house in Liverpool.

Merseyside Police were called out by paramedics yesterday (Monday October 3rd) after reports a sixty-three-year-old woman had been attacked by the animals inside a property down St. Brigid’s Crescent in Kirkdale.

The woman, who is yet to be formally identified, died at the scene following the attack at around 4.25pm. 

Police say five American bulldogs, which were found inside the property, were handed over and have now been humanely destroyed.

A thirty-one-year-old man has since been arrested on suspicion of owning a dog deemed to be dangerously out of control. He remains in custody.

An investigation into the incident remains ongoing and a post-mortem will be carried out to establish the exact cause of death.

Detective Inspector Katie Coote said: “This is clearly a very distressing incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the lady who died.

“Our enquiries remain ongoing as we seek to establish what has happened and I would urge anyone who could assist our enquiries to get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to DM @MerPolCC or @CrimestoppersUK on Twitter. Alternatively, they can be contacted via telephone on 0800 555 111 quoting reference 22000731247.

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