Steph McGovern vows not to 'ugly cry' as last ever Packed Lunch airs

The presenter's talk show has been axed after three years

Steph's Packed Lunch is up for a TV BAFTA. (Channel 4)
Steph's Packed Lunch has come to an end. (Channel 4)

What did you miss?

Steph McGovern fought back tears as she hosted her last ever episode of Packed Lunch.

The star’s chat show has been axed after three years, and as she signed off McGovern told viewers she didn’t want to “ugly cry”. The presenter, who was wearing a sparkly red suit for the occasion, said it had been a “proper laugh” doing the Channel 4 programme.

Viewers were also upset, with some posting messages on X asking why it had been cancelled and saying it was a "huge mistake".

What, how, and why?

As she wrapped up her final show, McGovern played a highlights reel of some of the programme's big moments as she thanked viewers for sharing their stories.

She was visibly upset as she said: “I’m not going to waffle on because I can’t really say anything emotional without that really ugly crying. But thank you for watching, thank you to everyone who has been on the show.”

Her voice wobbling, she went on: “I’ve loved it and I’m glad you have. Look after yourselves and goodbye!”

McGovern then waved and danced out of the studio as music played and guests and colleagues clapped.

Many fans took to X as the last show aired, to express their disappointment. "Huge mistake Channel 4," said one, as another asked: "You have axed the best day time programme on Channel 4 Steph's Packed Lunch. Why?????"

"Gutted @Channel4 have cancelled Steph's Packed Lunch - it’s mint!!" said somebody else.

How did the show start?

Steph’s Packed Lunch started in 2020, at the time as The Steph Show. It featured celebrity interviews, cooking segments and discussions about what was going on in the news.

The star launched the programme in her living room amid the coronavirus lockdowns and it became a big success with viewers. However, it later moved into a studio in Leeds and was rebranded as Steph’s Packed Lunch.

Steph's Packed Lunch has come to an end. (Channel 4 screengrab)
Steph's Packed Lunch started in 2020. (Channel 4 screengrab)

The series has seen its share of standout moments that got people talking, like the 2021 instalment where McGovern had a smear test live on her programme to raise awareness of the fact that many women don't attend their screenings. Then this year she had a mammogram on the show.

It was also in the headlines when comedian Joe Lycett pretended to walk off the set. He stormed off after McGovern appeared to catch him out in a fib about using plastic drinks bottles when he said he’d given them up, leaving viewers stunned. However, it turned out to have been staged to make a point about the use of plastic.

Why was Steph's Packed Lunch cancelled?

In October it was announced that Steph’s Packed Lunch was ending after three years, with the broadcaster saying it would wrap by the end of the year. Calling time on the series, Channel 4 said in a statement that audience habits were "changing quicker than ever" and that "difficult decisions" had to be made.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Steph McGovern arrives at
The TV star said she had 'loved' doing the programme. (Getty Images)

"Steph has not only made the nation's lunchtimes more entertaining and brilliantly reflected the views and preoccupations of the country, but the show has also been an outstanding springboard for developing local talent behind the scenes,” it said.

"However, with audience habits changing quicker than ever, we have to make difficult decisions about which programmes to invest in to best drive our digital-first strategy, and we have decided not to recommission Steph's Packed Lunch when its existing production contract ends in December 2023."

Read more: Steph McGovern

Watch: Steph McGovern has cervical smear test live on TV in bid to raise cancer awareness