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Louise Minchin gives emotional farewell message on final BBC Breakfast show

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Louise Minchin bid an an emotional farewell as colleagues and celebrities paid tribute during her final episode hosting BBC Breakfast on Wednesday.

The presenter, 53, first appeared on the broadcaster's flagship morning news show in 2001 and joked she was leaving to escape the gruelling early starts.

Her co-host Dan Walker kicked off Louise Minchin’s BBC Breakfast farewell by taking her outside blindfolded.

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Minchin removed the blindfold to see a crowd gathered around her and Walker, with some wearing masks emblazoned with her face.

She was played a video montage showing highlights from her 20 years on screen.

Celebrities, sport stars and former BBC colleagues all featured to say farewell as she made her last appearance on the breakfast sofa.

Fellow presenter Charlie Stayt said it “has always been an absolute joy doing BBC Breakfast with you”, while Naga Munchetty described Minchin as “brilliant”, adding: “And I think you’re going to carry on being brilliant away from here…”

Minchin’s husband, David, and her daughters, Scarlett and Mia, also featured.

Her former BBC co-presenter Bill Turnbull ended a moving tribute saying Minchin is “most of all a warm, sunny person who will always be my friend”.

 (Twitter)
(Twitter)

TV star Robert Rinder was unmasked as one of the people sporting a Minchin mask and shared anecdotes about his friendship with her. In 2020 the pair were among a group of celebrities who took part in a Sport Relief challenge in the Namib Desert.

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Dame Darcey Bussell also paid tribute to Minchin, saying: “I have loved watching you over the last 20 years on the BBC early in the morning and I’ve been lucky enough to sit with you a few times, you are going to be so missed…”

Earlier on Wednesday's show, Minchin revealed her BBC pass had already been deactivated and she was locked out of the office.

Viewers were also shown a video of the host walking through the newsroom and being applauded by her colleagues, before Walker shared tributes from those watching at home.

Louise Minchin wiped away tears as she presented her final BBC Breakfast (BBC Breakfast)
Louise Minchin wiped away tears as she presented her final BBC Breakfast (BBC Breakfast)

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."

She rounded off her time on the programme by saying: ““Have a great day and I’ll see you somewhere on the other side.”

Minchin confirmed in June that she would be leaving the programme.

Speaking to the Mirror this week 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.

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"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.

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