Stephen Graham pays tribute to departing Louise Minchin on BBC Breakfast

TV actor Stephen Graham praised Louise Minchin after she announced she is leaving BBC Breakfast after nearly 20 years.

He said: “Honest to God, I mean, you've been a stalwart for, what, like you said, the past 20 years. So it has been lovely waking up with you in the morning and receiving our news from new. It's been lovely. You know, you're a consummate professional, you're amazing at your job. You're wonderful, you brighten up the day.”

The presenter, 52, first appeared on the broadcaster’s flagship morning show in 2001 and moved with its red sofa to Media City in Salford as a lead presenter in 2012.

Minchin appeared visibly emotional during Tuesday’s broadcast as she confirmed that she would depart the show later this year.

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.”