BBC Breakfast’s Naga Munchetty fought back tears after a heartbreaking loneliness report took an emotional turn.
The pair discussed a range of topics including how Christmas can actually be the loneliest time of the year for some people, particularly the elderly.
They then cut to a report at an Age UK group where a lady called Barbara volunteers.
Barbara is the life and soul of the group, but she admitted the group is as much of a lifeline to her as it is the participants following the death of her husband Mike 18 years ago.
Until she joined the group, Barbara hadn’t put up her Christmas decorations for 18 years and said her volunteering had saved her.
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She said: “I remember just standing at the window, breaking my heart, I just couldn’t believe I’d never see him again.
“It does feel like the end of the world. If I hadn’t gone and done voluntary work, I think I would have sat in that chair and give up.”
The VT also featured Terence, whose wife had died on New Year’s Eve, and he broke down in tears as he spoke about how vital the group was to him now he is a widower.
He said: “The best thing I ever did was starting coming here, because the people here are marvellous.”
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The footage left Charlie, 61, and Naga visibly moved, with Naga’s eyes glistening with tears as the cameras returned to the BBC Breakfast studios.
Ever the professional, she managed to contain her emotions as Charlie thanked the participants and said there was “a lot to love” in the VT.
He added: “It is very moving hearing those stories of people for whom Christmas is a grim time.
“It accentuates the loneliness in a way, then you see people like Barbara who is just a ball ofcoming in who knows how it feels, and making a real difference.”
viewers were also moved by the segment, with one writing on X: “Loving Barbara on #BBCBreakfast. A great advocate for the importance of making connections, volunteering or joining a group if you’re feeling lonely.
“My Mum who has Alzheimer’s attends a weekly lunch club in Radcliffe with @AgeUKBury and it’s made a real difference to her.”
BBC Breakfast airs daily from 6am on BBC One.