Louise Minchin promises she'll always be part of 'BBC Breakfast' family as she says goodbye on last day

Watch: Louise Minchin's final goodbye on BBC Breakfast

Louise Minchin has said she will always be a part of the BBC Breakfast family as she was given an emotional send off from the show.

The 53-year-old TV presenter – who has worked on the BBC morning show since 2002 – shed a few tears as her co-host Dan Walker, friends and family gave her a spectacular send off including a cake with a sugar-paste replica of herself on top.

Minchin said: "Thank you first to Dan. Because of you I've spent much longer than I really meant to. You've always had my back, you made me laugh, made me roll my eyes and passed me a tissue when I cried.

<p>After 20 years on the BBC's flagship morning news programme, host Louise Minchin has announced that she will be leaving the show later this year.</p>
<p>Credit: @BBCBreakfast via Twitter / BBC</p>
Louise Minchin has said she will always be a part of the BBC Breakfast family. (BBC)

"A huge thank you to amazing BBC Breakfast team. You work so hard all day every day of the year. I shall miss you terribly, but the programme will carry on and it's been a pleasure working with you.

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"Most importantly thank you to everyone watching - you are absolutely at the heart of everything that we do. It's been a privilege to sit here on the red sofa and report on our shared history.

"I'm part of the BBC Breakfast family, I will always be part of that family even if I'm not here on the sofa

"I will keep watching and I will still be with you.

Watch: Louise Minchin applauded by BBC newsroom on her final day

"For the final time, good bye. Have a great day and I’ll see you somewhere on the other side.”

Among those present outside the BBC Studios in Salford for her farewell party were TV star Rob Rinder, who Minchin befriended when they took part in a race across the Namibian desert for Sport Relief last year.

Her father Patrick and husband David also joined in the celebrations on live TV, where Minchin was serenaded by a brass band.

Walker told her: "I get to see you every morning and I know how good you are at your job. It's hard to find someone who makes everything so comfortable but that's one of your special gifts.

BBC Breakfast presenters Mike Bushell, Louise Minchin, Dan Walker, Naga Munchetty, Carol Kirkwood and Sally Nugent attending the National Television Awards 2017 held at the O2, London. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
BBC Breakfast presenters Mike Bushell, Louise Minchin, Dan Walker, Naga Munchetty, Carol Kirkwood and Sally Nugent in 2017. (PA)

"I don't think we've had a single argument in five-and-half-years. We've turned to each other when we needed each other.

"I'll miss your eye roll, I'll miss the laughter, the tears, but most of all I'll miss you.

"I don't know what I'll do without you. The programme will never ever be the same with out you."

Minchin's former BBC Breakfast colleague Bill Turnbull, 65, paid his own tribute to her via video message.

He said: "Louise Minchin, let me tell you what those word mean to me, A truly great professional who always had a smile on her face.

"But most of all I think of a warm, sunny person, who will always be my friend."

Minchin – who has previously revealed she sets her alarm for 3.40am every morning in order to start work on the 6am show every weekday – admitted she is most looking forward to "normal things" now that she is leaving.

She told Walker: "There's three things I miss which is watching late night telly on a Sunday, having breakfast together and the school run. Normal stuff."

Minchin, who was born in Hong Kong where her army major father was serving at the time, studied journalism at the London College of Communications and also hosted the BBC News at One between 2006 and 2012.

Louise Minchin has presented 'BBC Breakfast' for over 20 years. (Getty Images)
Louise Minchin has presented BBC Breakfast for over 20 years. (Getty Images)

Amateur triathlete Minchin – who has guest-hosted The One Show and was runner-up on Celebrity MasterChef in 2016 – revealed back in 2019 that she struggled with negative comments from online trolls.

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The news presenter married her husband in 1998 and they have two daughters together.