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'It's overwhelming': ABC host Leigh Sales reveals her 'biggest fear' on final day

One of the ABC's most recognisable faces will sign off for the final time as host of 7.30 on Thursday night, revealing her biggest fear for her final show.

Leigh Sales has hosted the national broadcaster's flagship current affairs program for more than 12 years, but stunned viewers in February when she closed the show with a monologue explaining her time was coming to an end.

Sales admitted she has hardly slept ahead of her final show thanks to the emotion and adrenaline of the moment.

But her biggest fear, she said, is for major news to break, forcing the show to scramble and make last-minute plans to cover the event on air tonight.

Leigh Sales will host her final episode of 7.30 tonight. Source: ABC
Leigh Sales will host her final episode of 7.30 tonight. Source: ABC

"My biggest fear is that a major serious news story will happen today because it is going to be - it just feels like very loose already," she told ABC's News Breakfast this morning.

"I reckon I have had two blocks of two hours sleep because there is so much adrenaline going. I don't know how I feel yet.

"I am here early and I am never normally here at this time. From the second I got out of the car and walked through the foyer, almost every person I have seen has wanted to stop and chat and hug me. It is overwhelming.

"I don't know what it is going to be like today. It is going to be a real rollercoaster. I am trying to be in the moment and appreciate it and it has been unbelievable.

"I am so grateful for what an amazing job and time I have had. I know it is time now to do something different. It is still going to be wrenching today."

With six months off, the 49-year-old mum is looking forward to a prolonged break from the constant news cycle.

Leigh Sales during a recent interview with the governor of the RBA. Source: ABC
Leigh Sales during a recent interview with the governor of the RBA. Source: ABC

When asked to nominate something she won't miss about the job, she said she is looking forward to enjoying the news as a bystander.

"Having to wake up every morning and say what is in the news today? I better get this call in and ring that person and that constant being tied to the news cycle .... It will be nice to step away from that," she said.

In an earlier interview after stepping down, Sales spoke of the toll the job took on her as she was never home for dinner with her two boys during the week, as well as the constant online abuse that comes from being in the spotlight.

The ABC's award-winning investigative journalist Sarah Ferguson will take over from Leigh Sales as host of 7.30.

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