Louise Minchin on the kindness of strangers

PUBLISHED: 00:00 08 November 2017

Louise Minchin

Louise Minchin


Viewers come to the rescue when the BBC TV presenter finds herself having travel troubles

Crewe StationCrewe Station

I love the BBC Breakfast audience, they are fiercely loyal, dedicated, extremely supportive and ubiquitous, which means I meet them everywhere. When I do, they make me feel like I am part of a huge Breakfast family, and like a family they look after me.

Twice this month I have been rescued from potentially tricky situations by viewers.

First, I was sitting in the sunshine waiting for a train at Crewe, and one of the station staff, who is a dedicated viewer, had a chat with me about where I was going and what I was up to. I went back to reading a triathlon magazine and was so immersed in it, that it was only because I heard a loud shout of ‘Louise, watch out your train’s on the other platform!’, that I didn’t miss it. Amazing.

The second incident was potentially more serious.

After getting up at 3.30am to present the programme, I was feeling a little discombobulated 18 hours later as I was navigating my way through Manchester Airport to catch a flight to Rotterdam to report on the Triathlon World Championship Finals, and also to compete in the age-group competition.

Despite a lack of sleep, I thought I had everything under control, even my unwieldy bike box, until the moment I landed and started looking for my cash card to get some money out. It was nearly midnight when in panic and desperation I tipped the contents of my bag onto the airport concourse to confirm that not only had I misplaced my debit card, but I had lost my entire wallet somewhere between buying a cup of tea and getting on the plane.

What a total nightmare. My cash, my credit card, and even my British Triathlon Federation card, which I needed to have insurance to race, were all in it. I was distraught, annoyed with myself, and exhausted and it was too late to do much else, beyond go to bed and work out what to do to sort everything out in the morning.

To my amazement, I wasn’t even properly awake when I had a text from a wonderful assistant editor at work with fantastic news: ‘A woman at Manchester Airport has emailed the programme, saying you left your purse in a shop and they are keeping it for you.’

What are the chances of that? Utterly brilliant. Someone had found it, handed it into a shop, where the manager, who happened to be an avid viewer, opened it, realised immediately who it belonged to and got in touch. Thanks to the power of BBC Breakfast, a few short hours after losing my wallet, I knew it was safe and sound and waiting for me to collect it. I am incredibly lucky and very grateful, and it only confirms what I knew already, BBC Breakfast viewers are fantastic.

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