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TV host Louise Minchin is to leave BBC Breakfast after almost 20 years.

Minchin first presented the BBC One morning programme in 2001 and became one of its lead presenters in 2012 when production moved to Salford.

She told viewers she had loved being on the show but "it is time I stopped setting my alarm for 03:40", and is now looking forward to "lots of lie-ins".

She said she would leave "some time after the summer" and would take "lots of happy memories" away.

"We've had fun times. We've had some incredible guests. I love hearing people's stories, I love being able to tell their stories."

Asked what she would do next, she replied: "Anybody who watches will be very well aware my passion is endurance sport, and I will absolutely continue to do that. I've got lots of really exciting adventures planned. I'm trying to write a book about that as well.

"And I'll continue with my podcast, which is all about the mental and physical benefits of sport and exercise.

"And I'll be having lots of lie-ins. That's what I'm most excited about right now."

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Minchin's co-host Dan Walker said: "From a personal perspective, my life will be a lot poorer without you.

"You are not only a star, you are fantastic at your job, you're brilliant to work with but you're also a great friend."

Actor Stephen Graham, who was a guest on Tuesday's programme, said he was "devastated" Minchin was leaving the show.

This year will mark 20 years since Minchin presented her first edition of BBC Breakfast as a stand-in host. She later replaced Sian Williams as a full-time member of the team.

Louise Minchin and Dan Walker
image captionLouise Minchin and co-host Dan Walker, who said she was "a star"
Walker, Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt are also in the current line-up of presenters.

BBC Breakfast editor Richard Frediani said: "Millions of viewers have regularly woken up with Louise for 20 years and welcomed her and BBC Breakfast into their homes.

"We will miss her brilliant journalism, good humour and boundless energy. She has been a tremendous BBC Breakfast colleague on and off screen and will always be a friend to the team."

BBC News director Fran Unsworth said: "I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Louise for her contribution to BBC News - she is a brilliant presenter and journalist and will be greatly missed by her colleagues and the team in Salford."

Who could replace her?
Louise Minchin with Sally Nugent in 2017
image captionMinchin with Sally Nugent in 2017
It's not known who will take Minchin's seat on the sofa, but possible names include Sally Nugent, who hosted with Walker earlier this year when Minchin was on leave.

Nugent has been filling in for BBC Breakfast's regular hosts on a freelance basis since 2011 and currently serves as the show's main relief presenter, as well as regularly presenting the show's sport slots.

Other stand-ins who could be promoted include news correspondent Sima Kotecha and Rachel Burden, who has co-hosted the BBC Radio 5 Live weekday breakfast show since 2011.

Other contenders could include Tina Daheley, who currently reads the news on Zoe Ball's BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, and business presenter Nina Warhurst.

Minchin's varied career
Louise Minchin and Ray Wilding on Missing Live
image captionLouise Minchin and Ray Wilding on Missing Live
Minchin started work for Radio 5 Live in 1998 and presented programmes including Drive and Breakfast.

Between 2003 and 2012, she was a regular BBC News Channel presenter.

She was also one of the main relief presenters for the BBC News at One until April 2012, when she became a permanent member of the Breakfast line-up alongside Bill Turnbull, Susanna Reid and Stayt.

During her time, she has covered major global news stories including the last three general elections, Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

From 2008, she also presented a weekday programme called Missing Live along with Rav Wilding, and has also worked for the Latin American section of the BBC World Service, the Today programme and various local radio stations.

Outside work, Minchin is an amateur triathlete and has competed in the World Triathlon Championships.

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