BBC Breakfast host Louise Minchin has announced she is leaving the show after 20 years.
Making the announcement live on air she said she would no longer be setting her alarm for before 4am.
“There’s something I wanted to tell you about. It will be, this year, 20 years since I first presented this program and since then I’ve felt part of a huge, enormous BBC breakfast family, which includes everyone who works here, every one of the team and every one of you who watches the programme.
“I’ve loved being a part of it. But, there is a but, you know about the but, I’ve decided that it is time that I stop setting my alarm for 3.40, sometimes when I’m feeling really rebellious 3.46 in the morning and I’m going to be leaving the programme.
“It’s not going to be for a while and just before anything else I wanted to thank everyone who is watching for your loyalty for your support over all those years, I have absolutely loved being part of it, I will really miss it but it is time now to stop.”
She said she will leave sometime after the summer – ‘the date is not set in stone’
She added: “My children can’t remember a time when I wasn’t working on the program”
Louise said the day she got a call at 2am saying something had happened in Manchester – the day of the arena bombing – will stay in her memory.
Co-host Dan Walker said: “I knew you were good, but that day I saw you were amazing. That is your superpower. You’re always able to tell heartbreaking news in a really gentle, careful and kind way, There are very few people who can do that and that’s why you’ll be sorely missed on this program.”
Louise says she will continue with her podcast, with her extreme sport and will be ‘having lots of lie-ins’
Dan said: “From a personal perspective my life will be a lot poorer without you” and said everyone would miss her entrthusiasm, her passion and her likeability.
“You are not only a star you are fantastic at your job, you’re brilliant to work with but you’re also a great friend.”
Louise married David Minchin on 6 June 1998. The couple have two daughters Scarlett and Mia and live near Chester.
She is an amateur triathlete, and qualified as a member of the 2015 Great Britain Age-Group Triathlon Team (45–49 age group). She competed in the standard distance event (1500 m swim, a 40 km bike ride and a 10 km run) at the World Triathlon Championships in Chicago on 19 September 2015. She qualified for the team at the Dambuster Triathlon at Rutland Water on 15 June 2015. She went on to finish 71st out of 78 finishers at the ITU World Triathlon Championships.
In 2019 Louise spoke out on her menopause experiences to raise awareness. She revealed how she had suffered hot flushes on the BBC Breakfast set that lead to them lowering the temperature.
Minchin has worked for the Latin American section of the BBC World Service during a year in Argentina, the Today programme, Five and various local radio stations. In 2006 she toured the country in a converted bus meeting England fans as part of the World Cup coverage for BBC News.
She started work for Radio 5 Live in 1998, and married David Minchin the same year. She presented many of the station’s main programmes, including Drive and Breakfast. Between September 2003 and April 2012, she was a regular BBC News Channel presenter, initially working alongside Jon Sopel from 7 pm to 10 pm. Minchin then presented the 2 pm to 5 pm slot, also with Sopel, sharing this shift with Emily Maitlis. She was also one of the main relief presenters for the BBC News at One until April 2012.
In 2006 and 2007, Minchin was a relief presenter on BBC Breakfast while Kate Silverton covered for main anchor Sian Williams. After Williams returned, she continued to co-host the programme, and from May 2009 until April 2012 was the regular weekend presenter of the show. In December 2011 the BBC announced that Minchin would replace Williams as a main presenter of BBC Breakfast along with Bill Turnbull and Charlie Stayt when the programme moved to Salford—the first edition was presented on Tuesday 10 April 2012.
From 21 April 2008 Minchin presented a weekday programme called Missing Live along with Rav Wilding. The programme was shown at 9:15 am after BBC Breakfast on BBC One and ran for 4 weeks. The show returned for a second four-week run from 16 March 2009, and again in March 2010, highlighting both new cases and those previously featured with updates.
Minchin and Colin Jackson presented the Sunday morning show Sunday Life on BBC One in 2008.
From 2 November 2009, Minchin presented four weeks of live broadcasts of Real Rescues along with Nick Knowles.
Minchin also presented In the Know, a BBC sports magazine programme on Saturday mornings on BBC One during the 2004 Athens Olympics alongside co-presenter John Inverdale.
In April 2010 Minchin co-presented The One Show for a week alongside Chris Hollins while regular hosts Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley were unavailable. She covered again when the show returned in July 2010 for two weeks alongside Matt Baker and one episode with Matt Allwright.
Minchin and Gethin Jones presented the documentary series Crime and Punishment, which began on BBC One on 12 March 2012.
For a time from November 2012, Minchin was a co-presenter of Radio 5 Live’s Drive programme with Peter Allen. She often stands in as the main presenter of BBC Radio 4’s daily consumer programme You and Yours.
Minchin played herself reading the news in three BBC series: spy drama Spooks, crime drama Silent Witness and the Torchwood mini-series Children of Earth.
In 2016, Minchin competed in Celebrity MasterChef on BBC One finishing second.
She said: “I have absolutely loved being part of the six million-strong BBC Breakfast family but after nearly two decades presenting the programme, I have decided it is time I stopped setting my alarm for 0340 in the morning.
“I will take so many memories with me, including reporting on the shock and anguish of the Manchester Arena bombing; starting a national conversation about menopause; and the life-changing moment I took part in the Breakfast Christmas Cycling Challenge which inspired my ongoing passion for endurance sport, which I will continue when I leave.
“A big thank you to everyone who has watched and supported me, I have loved it and I will miss you all.”
During her time on the show, Minchin has covered global news stories including three general elections, Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic, the Manchester bombings and the aftermath of the Bataclan Theatre attacks live from Paris.
Among the famous names she has interviewed are Sir David Attenborough, the Duchess of Cambridge and Billie Eilish, as well as the leaders of the UK’s main political parties.
BBC Breakfast editor Richard Frediani said: “Millions of viewers have regularly woken up with Louise for 20 years and welcomed her and BBC Breakfast into their homes. We will miss her brilliant journalism, good humour and boundless energy.
“She has been a tremendous BBC Breakfast colleague on and off screen and will always be a friend to the team.”