Emotional Louise Minchin holds hands with BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker as she leaves the show for the final time

LOUISE Minchin held hands with her BBC Breakfast co-star Dan Walker as he led her out of the studio on her last ever show.

The emotional broadcaster was surprised by her friends and family and paid a sweet goodbye to viewers, telling them: "I'll see you on the other side".

A brass band played Louise out on a sunny London morning, and she was applauded by her nearest and dearest all wearing masks of her face.

Among the crowd was Louise's husband David and their two daughters, Scarlett, 20, and Mia, 17.

Before revealing the surprise, Dan told her: "We made sure your final BBC Breakfast finished in style."

Ahead of her final show, Louise said she was looking forward to spending more time with her family after two decades of sacrificing her evenings for early bed times to wake up for her 3.40am alarms.

The broadcaster had time to reflect on her career in December when she was sidelined for a month recovering from an ankle operation.

It was then she realised she'd had enough of the very early starts she'd endured for the past two decades.

Speaking to the Mirror, she said: “I find the early morning really difficult and another winter of the dark mornings was not what I wanted to do anymore.

“I just thought, ‘I can’t face another winter’, because I’ve worked out over the last 20 years there’s about six weeks in the year when I go to work and it’s light, and those are the six weeks that I find the easiest.

“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."

Louise added that when she is not working her body clock usually sees her go to bed at midnight and wake up at 9am.

She said her decision was met with happiness by her daughters, who are 20 and 17, and they are looking forward to spending more evenings with her.

The mum-of-two said she has no qualms being a taxi service for them having not been able to ferry them around for the entirety of her Breakfast career.

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