Louise Minchin details ‘crutch she relies on’ to do ‘brutal’ BBC Breakfast shifts each day

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Louise Minchin, 52, has long been into her fitness and it seems it’s become something she now depends on to get her through her very early shifts on BBC Breakfast. She described the presenting role as “mentally exhausting” but admitted she manages as long as she undertakes a triathlon training session beforehand.

Tough [triathlon] training sessions have become the crutch I rely on to do my job

Louise Minchin

In a recent interview, the BBC star said: “Tough [triathlon] training sessions have become the crutch I rely on to do my job.

“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 she says brutal, Louise means getting up at 3:40am kind of brutal.

She and her co-host Dan Walker present the show from Monday through until Wednesday, with Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt taking over the end of the week.

But three days on the trot of grave yard get-ups do take their toll, but Louise knows exactly how to get herself up in the morning, regardless of how she’s feeling.

“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,” she giggled.

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

Not only does her love and passion for fitness get her going, but it also helps her calm her nerves when breaking a big news story 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.

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The BBC star’s latest challenge was the cancelled (to all but elite runners) Virgin London Marathon, which saw her take to the Cheshire countryside instead, alongside her trusty friend Judge Rob Rinder.

She and the ITV courtroom mediator become bonded for life when they both took part in the 2020 Sports Relief marathon across the Namibian Desert in scorching 48C degree heat.

It was a trial of blood, sweat (literally) and tears but they made it through and a true friendship was born.

This time, they faced weather quite the opposite, as the English countryside gave them torrential storms.

Writing in a recent column for Cheshire Life, Louise detailed the difficulties they experienced doing their cross country challenge on English soil, all of which left her “collapsed in a heap of pain” at the very end.

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

But she couldn’t have done it without her pal, and credited his “brilliance” from start to finish.

“Rob was utterly brilliant, encouraging me every step of the way and chivvying me along cheerfully but firmly when I was finding it hard.

“After a joyous seven hours and 17 minutes and a last 200-metre sprint I collapsed in a heap of pain, but feeling incredibly blessed to have a friendship forged in the baking hot desert and cemented in the Cheshire countryside.”

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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