Louise Minchin speaks out on what ‘propels’ her out out of bed for BBC Breakfast at 3.40am

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Louise Minchin, 52, has-been fronting BBC Breakfast since 2003, but it seems the early morning get-ups don’t get any easier. While we tune in at 6am in our dressing gowns having breakfast, Louise, her co-star Dan Walker and the rest of the busy team have been up for the best part of three hours.

When I wake up at 3:40am for work, it’s the image of jumping into ice-cold water mid-triathlon that propels me out of bed

Louise Minchin

The pair present the show from Monday through until Wednesday, with Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt taking over the end of the week.

But Louise admits there’s something else other than her dreaded alarm that “propels” her out of bed every AM.

In a recent interview, the BBC star said: “When I wake up at 3:40am for work, it’s the image of jumping into ice-cold water mid-triathlon that propels me out of bed.

“I tell myself: ‘You think this is bad? That is worse!'”

Louise is a seasoned triathlete, taking part in challenges all over the world, including the gruelling 226km Norseman in Norway last year.

But her love for fitness is something that not only plays a big part in her life physically, but in her role on-air too.

She described the presenting gig as “mentally exhausting” and that she gets through the shift by undertaking a triathlon training session beforehand.

“Tough [triathlon] training sessions have become the crutch I rely on to do my job,” she said.

“Those brutal early starts are followed by three hours on air.”

“I have to concentrate incredibly hard to make sure I don’t say anything inaccurate.”

She added: “I love it, but it can be mentally exhausting.”

And when there’s a breaking news story to cover, Louise confesses she sends her mind off elsewhere to deal with the “stress”.

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The BBC Breakfast host detailed feeling “nervous” when Boris Johnson contracted coronavirus back in April and used the technique of memory recollection to keep her feeling calm while on air.

“There’s a memory I call to mind when I need to slow down,” she explained.

“I was doing a triathlon around the Liverpool docks, and the atmosphere was stressful.

“But when I looked down at the view below, it was so calm and peaceful. It was a moment of real serenity.

“Now, whenever I feel nervous about a breaking news story, I close my eyes and think of that moment.

“That’s where my mind went when I heard the news, through a headset, that the Prime Minister had been hospitalised with Covid-19,” she told Women’s Health.

Read Louise’s full interview in the Dec/Jan issue of Women’s Health, on sale now.

BBC Breakfast airs weekdays at 6am on BBC One.

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