Who is replacing Louise Minchin on BBC Breakfast and why did she leave the show?
Louise Minchin appeared as a co-anchor on BBC Breakfast for the last time in mid-September – here’s who her replacement could be, why she is leaving and what she’s going to do next
An emotional Louise Minchin was applauded in the BBC newsroom as she hosted BBC Breakfast for the final time on Wednesday 15 September.
Minchin, 53, confirmed in June that she would be leaving BBC Breakfast.
She joined the show in 2001 and joked during her emotional final appearance that she was leaving to escape the gruelling early starts.
But why did Minchin leave the programme? And who might replace her to join presenters Dan Walker, Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt?
Here’s what we know about Louise Minchin’s BBC Breakfast departure so far.
Why has Louise Minchin left BBC Breakfast?
Minchin has said that her decision to leave the morning breakfast show was largely down to wanting a change.
Speaking to the Mirror about her decision, Minchin said: "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."
Minchin has covered a string of major global news stories during her time on BBC Breakfast, including general elections, Brexit, the coronavirus pandemic and terror attacks.
She has also interviewed famous faces including the Duchess of Cambridge, singer Billie Eilish and naturalist Sir David Attenborough.
In 2019, she hosted the Wake Up To Menopause campaign after detailing how she suffered hot flushes while presenting live TV.
Louise Minchin recently revealed that her first new job beyond presenting BBC Breakfast will be to star in a documentary exploring the menopause and its impact, following in the footsteps of Davina McCall.
She also took up endurance sport after competing in a BBC Breakfast Christmas cycling challenge and has gone on to compete internationally for the GB triathlon team in her age group.
What did Minchin say about leaving the show?
On Wednesday's show, Minchin revealed her BBC pass had already been deactivated and she was locked out of the office.
Viewers were shown a video of the host walking through the newsroom and being applauded by her colleagues, before co-presenter Dan Walker shared tributes from those watching at home.
Minchin said she was "embarrassed and humbled and tearful" by the messages.
Addressing viewers, she said: "Thank you so much for your huge support. I think particularly over the last two years as well. It's been really tough, hasn't it, and I've felt we're all part of a story together, a shared history and it's been amazing to be here."
Minchin added: "Some people have literally grown up watching me, as they say.
"And I feel really privileged to have been in that position and have worked here all those years.
"There have been tough days, there have been tough stories. But it's been amazing and I'm really, genuinely touched by all those things that people have said."
On Monday 27 September, Minchin took to Twitter to show followers the love and best wishes she had received from BBC Breakfast fans on her departure.
"Thank you to everyone who has sent me lovely messages and cards post @BBCBreakfast,” Minchin wrote.
"I have just sat down and read them all, and I am so touched by your kind words and thoughts.”
Who will replace Louise Minchin on BBC Breakfast?
Minchin’s announcement has not yet been officially announced, but reports suggest that fellow BBC Breakfast co-star Sally Nugent could replace her.
The 50-year-old English journalist has been presenting segments on the morning breakfast show for several years, covering heartfelt international sports stories at the BBC for almost two decades.
Nugent recently filled in for Louise Minchin during the presenter’s brief absence from the show, adding to theories that she could replace Minchin after her departure.
But Minchin’s replacement is still unknown, with a BBC job advertisement for the position of chief presenter on Breakfast only closing for applications on Sunday 12 September.
Additional reporting by PA Reporters Tom Horton and Keiran Southern