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Louise Minchin - former BBC Breakfast presenter, endurance athlete and author of two books

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Louise is a journalist, broadcaster, podcaster and writer.

She presented BBC Breakfast for 20 years and before that was a news anchor on the BBC News Channel and the BBC’s One O’clock News. She has also presented The One Show, Five Live Drive, Real Rescues and Missing Live and has been a contestant on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, Time Crashers and Celebrity MasterChef.

Her first book, Dare to Tri, charted her journey from the Breakfast sofa to representing the Great Britain Triathlon team in her age-group at World and European Championships.

Her second book Fearless, Adventures with Extraordinary Women was published by Bloomsbury on 25th May 2023.

It reflect her passion for celebrating women’s success. In each chapter Louise takes on a different challenge with a courageous woman, to get to know them and tell their incredible stories.

About the book: Fearless, Adventures with Extraordinary Women


'To get to the heart of who these women are… I decided to do it the way that I know best, by taking part, spending time right beside them to experience the things they love.'

Driven to bring more attention to female stories of courage and endeavour, Louise Minchin pushes herself to the extreme and embarks on thrilling endurance adventures with trailblazing women.

She freedives under the ice in the dark in Finland with Cath, the first woman to swim a mile in the Antarctic Circle; she cycles across Argentina with Mimi, one of the world's most famous female endurance runners; and she swims from Alcatraz with Anaya and Mitali, two young sisters who have braved the shark-infested waters over 70 times.

With her natural empathy and sense of humour, Louise forms close bonds with 18 incredible women. She explores what drives them and how they find the resilience and determination to go on despite life's setbacks. Lizzie overcame a life-threatening illness and now paddleboards whilst cleaning up the planet with her community; Rhian set up a charity in the face of grief and fundraises through hikes; and Zee took up rugby alongside her busy nursing career and motherhood.

Louise reminds us of the bravery inside us all, and how essential it is to celebrate women's achievements. Prepare to be touched and inspired by these fearless women.


Don't miss out on the latest episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast, released every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Be sure to hit the subscribe button to stay updated on the incredible journeys and stories of strong women.

By supporting the Tough Girl Podcast on Patreon, you can make a difference in increasing the representation of female role models in the media, particularly in the world of adventure and physical challenges. Your contribution helps empower and inspire others. Visit to be a part of this important movement. Thank you for your invaluable support!


Listen to Louise Now!

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Show notes

  • Who is Louise?

  • Why you might know who Louise is (if you live in the UK)

  • Taking up sport at 45

  • Calling herself an endurance athlete

  • Her early years and passion for sports

  • Being a water baby and why swimming was her thing

  • Stopping swimming at 15

  • Doing a Christmas Challenge in the velodrome for BBC Breakfast in 2012

  • Having 1 hour of training before race night

  • Buying herself a road bike with drop handle bars

  • All the gear….

  • Making mistakes on the bike

  • Being encouraged by a friend to try a triathlon

  • Being a goal driven person and why having a goal helps with training

  • Advice for taking your first step

  • Telling other people and feeling a sense of accountability/responsibility to achieve goals

  • Being willing to say yes to new challenges

  • Being pushed out of her comfort zones at work

  • Fears and concerns before her first triathlon

  • Her attitude of - lets give it a go

  • Not worrying about negative outcomes or failure

  • Having a life changing moment when her daughter was born

  • Thinking she might die and how the experience changed her

  • Having a more positive attitude to life

  • Feeling so lucky to do what she does

  • Her love for cycling and spending time on the bike (both indoors and outdoors)

  • Becoming a Team Great Britain (GB) Triathlete

  • Representing her country at triathlon at the World and European Championships at Olympic distance.

  • Feeling extra pressure when competing in the UK

  • Training for a triathlon and fitting it around her work and job

  • Waking up at 3.40am every day to host the breakfast show

  • Book: Dare to Tri: My Journey from the BBC Breakfast Sofa to GB Team Triathlete

  • Chapter 14 - Kit list - What to take and why to take it.

  • Book: Fearless: Adventures with Extraordinary Women

  • Loving stories about adventure

  • Why do we never hear about women doing these adventures and challenges?

  • Making changes at the BBC around equal pay and being allowed to say hello first

  • Wanting to drive change, by going and doing it

  • Doing 17 different adventures with fearless women

  • Needing to amplify women’s voices

  • Needing different heroes

  • Trying to get Fearless on the TV

  • Noticing change

  • Do you know who Mimi Anderson is?

  • Do you know who Cath Pendleton is?

  • Free diving under the ice in Finland with Cath

  • How hard could that be?

  • Why being fearful and having fear is a good thing

  • Deciding to cycle across Argentina with Mimi Anderson

  • Feeling the fear and wanting to stop

  • Listening to her gut

  • Doing running with Susie Chan

  • Being part of a wonderful sisterhood of amazing women

  • Running the London Marathon with her daughter

  • Fitting in training while travelling for the book tour

  • How menopause has impacted on exercise and taking HRT

  • How to connect with Louise on the socials

  • Final words of advice for women who want to be fearless and embrace new adventures

  • Words from Belinda Kirk


Social Media

Instagram: @louiseminchin

Twitter: @louiseminchin



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