Louise Minchin dropped hint she was quitting BBC Breakfast for Strictly nine months ago

LOUISE Minchin hinted she was quitting BBC Breakfast to do Strictly Come Dancing nine months ago.

The 52-year-old broadcaster announced she was leaving the programme after two decades earlier today, telling her fans it was time for a change.

But it seems she could have been planning her exit for some time as she suggested she could be doing the BBC dance show last August.

During a discussion about how Strictly would work during the pandemic, Louise made a throw away comment that her followers couldn’t help but notice.

Describing how it would be different, she explained: “No contact dances, which is going to be very interesting as well and of course dancing in masks.”

Co-host Jon Kay questioned: “How on earth do you dance without any contact?”

Louise replied:  “Well probably best for me if it was that way. But that's part of the whole Strictly thing.”

Those watching at home at the time picked up on the comment at the time and wondered if she was set to put on her dancing shoes.

Louise broke the news she was leaving BBC news today in an emotional statement.

She said: “I have absolutely loved being part of the 6 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.”

She appeared beside Dan Walker on today's Breakfast and took a deep breath before confirming this year will be her last on the show.

Louise first presented Breakfast in 2001 and moved with the famous red sofa to Media City in Salford as a lead presenter in 2012.

In 2019 she fronted the programme’s ground-breaking Wake Up To Menopause campaign and she took up endurance sport after competing in a BBC Breakfast Christmas cycling challenge. She has gone onto compete internationally for the GB triathlon team in her age-group.

As well as interviewing senior politicians and party leaders, she has also chatted to countless A-list celebrities such as Sir David Attenborough, the Duchess of Cambridge, Billie Eilish, Jeff Goldblum, George Clooney, and Angelina Jolie and Joanna Lumley.

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.”

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