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12 BBC Breakfast presenters who sadly quit the show and why

From Susanna Reid to Louise Minchin

dan walker this morning
Nicky Morris
Nicky MorrisTV and film writer
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BBC Breakfast has been on our screens for over two decades, so it's hardly surprising that several famous faces have come and gone over the years. 

From Susanna Reid to Dan Walker, we've taken a look back at all the main presenters who have left the programme since it first debuted back in 2000 - and the reasons behind their departures. 

Jeremy Bowen (2000–2002)

Jeremy Bowen hosted the first ever Breakfast show back in October 2000, alongside Sophie Raworth. 

The Welsh journalist, who has been a war correspondent for much of his career, took a break from his role as a foreign correspondent to co-host the programme.

In 2002, Jeremy left the job after two years to concentrate on writing a book - but also explained in a later interview that he had been experiencing stomach pains due to the early starts. 

"I started getting these unexplained stomach pains," he told Radio Times. "I had to have an endoscopy and they never got to the bottom of it, and then I stopped getting up at 3.30 in the morning and the pains went away."

Jeremy Bowen and Sophie Raworth© Photo: Rex

Jeremy Bowen hosted the first ever show in 2000

Darren Jordon (2000–2001)

Darren Jordon co-hosted Breakfast from 2000 to 2001, before becoming deputy presenter of the BBC One O'Clock News. He became a familiar face on the channel, presenting all types of bulletins before leaving to join al-Jazeera International in 2006. 

Speaking about his departure at the time, Darren said: "The move, however, comes at the right time for me and I look forward to the fresh challenges that it will no doubt present.

TRENDING: The stories behind This Morning stars' exits: Fern Britton, Ruth Langsford and more

"I've had a wonderful time at the BBC; I've learned an awful lot and worked with some exceptionally talented individuals."

Darren Jordon© Photo: Getty Images

Darren co-hosted Breakfast from 2000 to 2001

Sarah Montague (2000–2001)

Sarah Montague joined the BBC in October 1997 and went on to host several programmes as well as Breakfast, including Newsnight and BBC News. 

Sarah left the show in 2002, joining the Today news programme on BBC Radio 4. 

Sarah Montague© Photo: BBC

Sarah Montague left the show for Today

Sophie Raworth (2000–2002)

Sophie Raworth became a familiar face to many thanks to her big break on Breakfast. The now-54-year-old stayed with the programme for two years until moving to BBC Six O'Clock News in January 2003, which she presented alongside George Alagiah. 

MORE: BBC Breakfast's Nina Warhurst puts on brave face after major family loss

Sophie's exit came shortly after her co-host Jeremy Bowen left the programme. Following her departure, she was replaced by Natasha Kaplinsky.

Sophie Raworth© Photo: BBC

Sophie Raworth left the programme for the Six O'Clock News

Bill Turnbull (2001–2016)

Breakfast was perhaps Bill Turnbull's most notable role in his career, having spent 15 years as a presenter on the programme between 2001 and 2016. 

At the time of his departure, Bill said he left the show to spend more time with his family, as well as to do more of his favourite hobby: beekeeping. 

In a later interview with the Express, Bill - who sadly passed away last year - said that he "didn't want to become stale". 

"After three hours you know you have done a programme but you are meant to look comfortable and happy to be there. I used to say we should have run a scientific experiment to measure my blood pressure when I was on," he said. 

Louise Minchin and Bill Turnbull on BBC© Photo: BBC

Bill Turnbull was on the show for 15 years

Sian Williams (2001–2012)

Sian Williams initially joined the show as a relief presenter in 2001, covering for Sarah Montague and later, Sophie Raworth. 

In 2005, she was confirmed as a main presenter and fronted the programme alongside Dermot Murnaghan and then Bill Turnbull from 2008.

She left the show in 2012 after the programme's production team relocated to Salford.

Tearing up during her final show, she addressed the viewers, saying: "You've been such a wonderful audience, thank you very, very much, I will miss you hugely."

Sian Williams© Photo: BBC

Sian Williams made her debut in 2001

Natasha Kaplinsky (2002–2005)

Natasha Kaplinsky joined the programme following Sophie Raworth's departure, hosting alongside Dermot Murnaghan for three and a half years. 

EXCLUSIVE: Natasha Kaplinsky's children receive heartfelt letters from Duchess of Cornwall

She left the show in 2005 to host BBC News at Six, before departing for the Ten O'Clock News - where she became the third woman to front the programme. 

Natasha Kaplinksy and Dermot Murnaghan© Photo: Getty Images

Natasha Kaplinsky left the show in 2005

Dermot Murnaghan (2002–2007)

Dermot Murnaghan replaced Jeremy Bowen on the programme in 2002 and hosted the show alongside co-hosts Sophie Raworth, Natasha Kaplinsky, Kate Silverton, Sian Williams and Susanna Reid until 2007.

MORE: Everything Naga Munchetty has said about her rarely-seen husband James Haggar

In the same month that Natasha revealed that she would be leaving the BBC for Five news, Dermot also announced his departure and went on to join Sky News. 

"I have had a fantastic time at BBC News," he said in a statement at the time. "I feel pride and fondness for the winning team I have worked with at Breakfast. I wish BBC News all the best for the future."

Dermot Murnaghan and Sophie Raworth© Photo: Rex

Dermot Murnaghan began hosting the show in 2002

Mishal Husain (2003–2006)

Mishal Husain made her Breakfast debut in 2003 and stayed with the show for three years. Since her departure in 2006, she has stayed with the BBC, hosting an array of programmes including Radio 4's Today, BBC News at Six, BBC World News and The Andrew Marr Show. 

Mishal Husain© Photo: BBC

Mishal Husain appeared on Breakfast in 2003

Susanna Reid (2006–2014)

While Susanna Reid featured on the programme from 2006, she became a main presenter in 2012 and hosted alongside Bill Turnbull

In 2014, it was announced that the now-52-year-old would be leaving the show to join ITV's Good Morning Britain - which is a revamped version of the channel's previous breakfast show, Daybreak

MORE: Susanna Reid reveals what her three boys really think of her TV career on GMB

Explaining her decision on Twitter, Susanna said at the time: "As a news journalist & presenter I couldn't turn down this opportunity and a new challenge.

"Thank you for your messages. I'm very excited to be joining Good Morning Britain. I have loved being at BBC Breakfast & will miss the team."

Susanna Reid and Bill Turnbull

Susanna Reid left the show for GMB in 2014

Louise Minchin (2012–2021)

From 2012, Louise Minchin was a regular anchor on Breakfast and co-hosted the show alongside Bill Turnbull until his departure in 2016. Bill was then replaced by Dan Walker and the pair fronted the show together until Louise announced her exit in the summer of 2021. 

She made her final appearance on 15 September 2021 and two months later, appeared on the 21st series of I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here. 

WATCH: Louise Minchin tearfully confirms BBC Breakfast exit


As for why she left the show, Louise said at the time that she had been struggling with the early starts after taking time off to recover from an ankle operation the year before. 

"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," she told The Daily Mirror, adding: "I think it was coming out of winter into this period that the decision was made."

Louise Minchin and Bill Turnbull© Photo: Instagram

Louise Minchin hosted the show from 2012-2021

Dan Walker (2016–2022)

Dan Walker is the most recent star to have departed from the programme, having announced his exit in April last year after six years. 

The 45-year-old left the show to host 5 News on Channel 5 and made his final appearance in May 2022. 

Announcing his departure on Twitter, he explained that he couldn't pass up the new opportunity. "I'm really excited but this has also been a massive decision for me because I love BBC Breakfast, I love working alongside Sally and I love the team there," he said.

"But Channel 5 came with big ambitions, with big plans and I don't think opportunities like this come around very often and I can't wait."

Dan Walker and Sally Nugent© Photo: Instagram

Dan Walker left the show last year

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