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BBC Breakfast's Sally Nugent absent from show following 'special' sun-soaked birthday celebrations

The journalist celebrated her 52nd birthday with friends

sally nugent jon kay sitting red sofa bbc breakfast
Nicky Morris
Nicky MorrisTV and film writer
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The BBC Breakfast sofa looked a little different on Monday morning as Sally Nugent was missing from her usual spot beside Jon Kay. 

The journalist, who usually hosts the programme from Monday to Wednesday alongside Jon, was replaced by weekend presenter Rachel Burden. 

WATCH: BBC Breakfast's Sally Nugent screams with surprise live on air as guest 'causes chaos'

Sally's absence comes after she celebrated her 52nd birthday at the weekend. The broadcaster took to Instagram on Sunday to thank her friends for making the day so "special". 

Sharing a photo from the sun-soaked celebrations, which saw Sally and her friends posing poolside while enjoying a glass of bubbles, she penned in the caption: "When you say you want a low-key birthday. And everyone knows you don't really mean it. 

"Thank you to lovely friends here and at home for making it so special xxxx."

Sally Nugent's birthday celebrations with friends© Sally Nugent/Instagram
Sally celebrated her 52nd birthday with friends over the weekend

The comments section was soon inundated with birthday wishes from followers, with one person writing: "Happy Birthday Sally. Have a wonderful day," while another added: "Lovely photo. Happy Birthday."

MORE: 5 BBC Breakfast presenters who left: Where are they now?

MORE: Where is BBC Breakfast Sally Nugent's living after 'split' from husband Gavin? 

Sally's BBC Breakfast co-star Jon also left a message that read: "Just perfect x," while her friend and former colleague Steph McGovern wrote: "Happy Birthday gorgeous."

Jon Kay and Sally Nugent on the red sofa as BBC Breakfast celebrate its 40th anniversary © Danny Lawson - PA Images
Jon Kay and Sally Nugent host BBC Breakfast from Monday to Wednesday

Sally has been a familiar face on our screens for many years, having first joined BBC Breakfast back in 2011 as a freelance presenter. She landed a position as a permanent presenter in 2021, joining Dan Walker on the sofa following Louise Minchin's departure.

The BBC star's birthday comes almost three months after it was reported that Sally and her businessman husband Gavin Hawthorn decided to go their separate ways after 13 years.

At the time, Gavin was said to have moved out of the family home – a £1.4million four-bed detached house in the upmarket suburb of Hale, Greater Manchester.

Sally Nugent national television awards 2021© Getty Images
Sally likes to keep her private life out of the spotlight

While Sally likes to keep her private life out of the spotlight, her bio on the BBC Breakfast website states that she is "married with one child – a football and rugby mad boy". 

The presenter has previously offered glimpses into her home life. In an interview with the Radio Times in 2021, she revealed that it could be hard for the whole family to settle on a TV programme to watch in the evenings. 

Sally Nugent new BBC Breakfast set© BBC
Sally joined BBC Breakfast as a main presenter in 2021

"My sofa is in my kitchen diner and there's a giant flat-screen TV on the wall," she explained. "It's tricky to get something that my husband, my 13-year-old son and I want to watch. During lockdown, we all got hooked on Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix, but it'll come as no surprise that I'm a news junkie." 

She also detailed her morning routine in an interview with The Sunday Times last year. "My alarm goes off at 3.45 am," she said. "I don't have a loud, scary one that gives you a coronary. I use a light box that gently wakes me. I have a backup phone alarm set every five minutes from 3.50 am."

Sally added that she tiptoes around the house in the morning in an effort not to wake her family. "I'm a tiptoer. I have years of experience," she said.

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