Louise Minchin is to present BBC Breakfast for the final time after realising she “can’t face another winter” of dark mornings.
The presenter, 53, first appeared on the broadcaster’s flagship morning show in 2001.
She said: “I find the early morning really difficult and another winter of the dark mornings was not what I wanted to do anymore.
“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,” she added in an interview with the Daily Mirror.
“In December I’d taken three, four weeks off work because of an ankle operation and 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.”
In 2012, Minchin moved with the show to Media City in Salford as a lead presenter.
She confirmed in June that she would be leaving the programme.
At the time, she said: “I have absolutely loved being part of the six million-strong BBC Breakfast family but after nearly two decades presenting the programme, I have decided it is time I stopped setting my alarm for 0340 in the morning.
“I will take so many memories with me, including reporting on the shock and anguish of the Manchester Arena bombing; starting a national conversation about menopause; and the life-changing moment I took part in the Breakfast Christmas Cycling Challenge which inspired my ongoing passion for endurance sport, which I will continue when I leave.
“A big thank you to everyone who has watched and supported me, I have loved it and I will miss you all.”
Minchin has covered a string of major global news stories during her time on BBC Breakfast, including three general elections, Brexit, the coronavirus pandemic and terror attacks.
She has also interviewed famous faces including the Duchess of Cambridge, singer Billie Eilish and naturalist Sir David Attenborough.
In 2019, she hosted the Wake Up To Menopause campaign after detailing how she suffered hot flushes while presenting live TV.
She also took up endurance sport after competing in a BBC Breakfast Christmas cycling challenge and has gone on to compete internationally for the GB triathlon team in her age group.