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Bill Turnbull prize

23 February 2023
Submitted by on 23 February 2023

Selwyn College has announced that it is setting up an annual prize, along with a travel scholarship, in memory of the broadcaster Bill Turnbull who died last year.

Bill – a former BBC colleague of Selwyn’s Master, Roger Mosey – attended a number of events at the college over the years and gave talks about the media and his career. With the kind permission of his family, and backed by an initial five-figure donation, Selwyn will be establishing the Bill Turnbull Prize for Clinical Medicine which will be given to a student in the 4th to 6th years of their medicine course. Many of Selwyn’s students are based for some of their training at Ipswich Hospital, which was one of the places where Bill received care while being treated for prostate cancer.

The travel scholarship will recognise Bill’s love of the United States, where he served as a BBC correspondent in New York and then Washington. It will give £1000 each summer to students wanting to travel to the USA for the benefit of their academic work.

Sesi Turnbull, Bill’s widow, said: “Bill would be so honoured to be remembered with this prize and scholarship from Selwyn College. Throughout his life he had a strong connection with America, where we lived as a family for some years while he was working as a BBC correspondent. Towards the end of his life, after moving to Suffolk, Bill received outstanding care from Ipswich Hospital, for which we will always be grateful. It is wonderful to know that others will get the opportunity to broaden their studies in places which were so close to Bill’s heart.”

Roger Mosey, Master of Selwyn College, said: ”Bill became a great friend to Selwyn – visiting here often, and generously giving his time to talk to students about his career and how they might themselves go into journalism. I’m delighted that his name will now be permanently associated with a prize and with support for future generations of students.”   

For more details about the Bill Turnbull fund, please contact

The photograph shows Bill with Selwyn students during a visit in 2016.

Bill with Selwyn Students