He went on to file more memorable stories for the programme from around Britain and Europe, including the Lockerbie disaster and the Romanian Revolution of 1989. It was, Bill remembers, a steep learning curve - learning the techniques of making television amid rapidly changing events.
As a news correspondent, Bill later covered everything from presidential elections to street riots in more than 30 countries.
He did a four-year stint as the BBC's Washington Correspondent - which included a rain-drenched appearance on Breakfast, live in the middle of a Florida hurricane.
He has also been a regular presenter of the BBC News Channel and Radio Five Live, before joining the Breakfast presenting team full time.In 2012 he was announced as the new presenter of "Songs of Praise."
Bill is married with three children. In his spare time he looks after his chickens, and rather more hazardously, four hives of bees. He likes to unwind (or should that be wind up?) by watching what he calls the finest football team in England... Wycombe Wanderers. He is a very personable and humorous after dinner speaker and corporate host.