Louise Minchin says time off work for operation was wake up call to quit BBC Breakfast

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There will be no more early morning starts for the now former BBC Breakfast host Louise Minchin – at least not too early.

The 53-year-old served her last show as longstanding host on Wednesday morning, waking up at the painfully premature time of 3.40am over the course of her run presenting there.

Missing out on precious quality time with daughters, Mia and Scarlett, being able to be with them during a break through lockdown over Christmas last year prompted Louise to quit BBC Breakfast, she revealed ahead of her last show.

“This has been a decision a long time in coming. It involved lots of in-depth discussion with friends and family,” she said.

“My children are pleased for us as a family, I think, because I always used to say to them, ‘Oh, do you remember before I did BBC Breakfast?’

“And they’d say, ‘Not really.’ And then I realised that, actually, my daughters are 20 and 17, so of course they don’t remember life before BBC Breakfast."

After undergoing an ankle operation in December 2020 along with being under lockdown, Louise, who was ordered rest over this period so she could recover, realised then it was time for a change.

“I had that period to realise that when I’m not getting up at 3:40am in the morning, I’m doing all sorts of things in the evening that I want to be doing – like just watching telly with my family, doing that kind of family stuff,” she said when announcing her departure from BBC Breakfast back in June.

“I think it was coming out of winter into this period that the decision was made.

“Also because of Covid we had holidays at home and if I’m left to my own devices in my own home, I actually go to bed about midnight and wake up about nine in the morning.

“That’s the natural way my body works. So I think it made me realise that actually I particularly really struggle with the hours… I have found them really hard.”

Louise presented on BBC Breakfast for nearly 20 years, starting out as a freelance host and, while her career has gone from strength to strength during this time, the school run is a role she is desperately seeking to get back to.

“I’ve not taken my daughters to school every single day for their schooling life, so I am looking forward to school runs,” she says about leaving the show.

“I’m really looking forward to things like those Sunday night dramas, which I’d love to be watching but haven’t been because I need to go to bed.

“So there’s a shared experience that I’m really looking forward to being able to have with them.

“Plus I’ve got no excuses now. I’m really looking forward to being a super taxi for the kids, which is great. And I am actually genuinely really looking forward to being able to do that!”

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