Steph McGovern emotional as she ends last episode of talk show on Channel 4

Steph McGovern signed off from the final Steph’s Packed Lunch on Friday (Matt Crossick/PA)
Steph McGovern signed off from the final Steph’s Packed Lunch on Friday (Matt Crossick/PA)

Steph’s Packed Lunch has broadcast its last episode on Channel 4.

The broadcaster announced the decision to axe the show in October and the final episode aired on Friday.

Looking emotional and wiping away tears, Steph McGovern ended the series listening to Spitting Image star Kate Robbins playing piano and singing a song that took a look at the last three years of Steph’s Packed Lunch.

In her last message to the audience, presenter McGovern, 41, said: “Thank you everyone, I cannot say anything emotional without doing that ugly crying.”

She also thanked the audience at home for watching.

McGovern then walked out of the studio where staff were clapping her exit before heading towards the direction of a sign for Leeds Job Centre.

The last episode featured footballer and TV presenter Chris Kamara, politicians including former Home Secretary Alan Johnson and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and comedians Russell Kane and Marcus Brigstocke.

Fans also shared stories in the studio of the comfort the show brought them including a widow who said it helped after the death of her husband.

There were also clips of significant moments over the years from the public sharing their stories of disability, cancer charity work, caring for someone with Parkinson’s and speech impediments and McGovern having a smear test live on TV.

Comedian Luke Kempner performed a musical-style song paying tribute to the show as McGovern danced while dressed in a red glittery suit.

McGovern opened the final episode saying “today is a proper family affair” while paying a nod to her guests.

She also said: “One of the reasons I have loved doing this show is because it is in the north and we get to shout out about all the creative things the north has to offer.

“It has been amazing to broadcast live from Leeds every day. We’ve talked a lot about the north south divide, whether that really exists, what it means for jobs and transport and wealth and a lot of that being so London-centric.

“I want to celebrate a bit of the north today.”

Steph’s Packed Lunch, which aired on weekdays at 12 noon, featured celebrity guests, discussions, games and cookery segments.

Beginning during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown in 2020, the show was initially broadcast from McGovern’s living room in Harrogate.

It later moved to its current studio setting in Leeds.

Channel 4 said not recommissioning the show was a “difficult decision” while saying the broadcaster is moving to a “digital-first strategy” as “audience habits (are) changing quicker than ever”.

A statement, announcing the decision in October, also said: “We will continue to build on the legacy of the show, evolving what we do in line with our digital ambitions whilst continuing to reflect the lives of, and give a voice to, all our audiences across the UK and hope to work with Steph on other projects soon.”