Watch: Louise Minchin announces she is leaving BBC Breakfast
The 52-year-old TV presenter - who has worked on the BBC morning show since 2002 - made the announcement live on the show alongside co-presenter Dan Walker, admitting she is ready to give up early mornings and will be stepping down later this year.
Minchin told viewers: "Let me take a deep breath, everybody there is something I want to tell you about.
"It will be this year 20 years since I first presented this programme.
"Since then I've felt part of a huge, enormous BBC Breakfast family which includes everyone who works here, everyone on the team and everyone of you who watches the programme.
"I've loved being part of it but – there is a but – I've decided that is time that I stop setting my alarm for 3.40am – sometimes if 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. But before anything else I wanted to thank everyone that is watching for your loyalty and your support over all those years.
"I have absolutely loved being part of it and I will really miss it, but it's time now to stop that alarm early in the morning.
"And thank you for watching for all these years."
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.
As with everything she does... Louise announces her departure from the show with dignity and class.
We will all miss her enormously at #BBCBreakfast.
She is not only wonderful at her job... she is a great friend.
Enjoy your lie-ins @louiseminchin https://t.co/ntN8iJzKCp
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) June 8, 2021
Walker, 44, paid tribute to his co-anchor, tweeting: "As with everything she does... Louise announces her departure from the show with dignity and class. We will all miss her enormously at #BBCBreakfast. She is not only wonderful at her job... she is a great friend. Enjoy your lie-ins @louiseminchin."
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.
Minchin wrote in Cheshire Life magazine: “You might think I am oversensitive (I probably am), and need to grow a thicker skin (I probably do), but the truth is I can read a hundred nice comments about me but it will be the nasty one I will remember, try as I might to shrug it off."
The news presenter married her husband in 1998 and they have two daughters together.