BBC Breakfast: Louise Minchin is 'trying not to think about' last day
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Louise Minchin, 53, is marking her last day on BBC Breakfast today after 20 years on the programme. The star has now revealed the real reason behind her decision to leave the show, before setting her 3.40am alarm for the last time.
Louise explained being forced to take time off work to undergo an ankle operation in December last year served as the wake-up call she needed to quit BBC Breakfast.
The surgery came after the presenter suffered a painful injury when she was training for the “epic extreme triathlon Norseman” in the summer of 2019.
After trying to push through the pain, Louise discovered the extent of the damage a year and a half later when she eventually had an X-ray and MRI.
She was told she had broken a bone in her foot and had also snapped an ankle ligament.
Opening up on how the injury prompted her BBC Breakfast departure, Louise told The Mirror: “I find the early morning really difficult and another winter of the dark mornings was not what I wanted to do anymore.
“I just thought ‘I can’t face another winter’, because I’ve worked out over the last 20 years there’s about six weeks in the year when I go to work and it’s light, and those are the six weeks that I find the easiest.
“In December I’d taken three, four weeks off work because of an ankle operation and I had that period to realise that when I’m not getting up at 3:40am in the morning, I’m doing all sorts of things in the evening that I want to be doing – like just watching telly with my family, doing that kind of family stuff.
“So yeah, I think it was coming out of winter into this period that the decision was made.”
Louise went on to share her realisation that she couldn’t cope with the show’s early starts anymore.
The star admitted:“Also because of Covid we had holidays at home and if I’m left to my own devices in my own home, I actually go to bed about midnight and wake up about nine in the morning.
“That’s the natural way my body works.
“So I think it made me realise that actually I particularly really struggle with the hours… I have found them really hard.”
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Louise also revealed she wanted to put her family first, after discussing the decision with her husband David Minchin and their two daughters, who are 20 and 17.
She explained to the publication: “This has been a decision a long time in coming. It involved lots of in-depth discussion with friends and family.
“My children are pleased for us as a family, I think, because I always used to say to them, ‘Oh, do you remember before I did BBC Breakfast?’
“And they’d say, ‘Not really.’ And then I realised that, actually, my daughters are 20 and 17, so of course they don’t remember life before BBC Breakfast.”
The mum-of-two left viewers stunned in June after she shared she would be leaving BBC Breakfast for good.
She said: “There’s something I wanted to tell you about. It will be, this year, 20 years since I first presented this programme 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 3.40am, sometimes when I’m feeling really rebellious 3.46am 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 added: “My children can’t remember a time when I wasn’t working on the programme.”
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