Bill Turnbull told viewers it had been a “special honour” to front BBC Breakfast as he presented his final programme on Friday.
He has been seen on the show’s famous red sofa since 1999 but announced in September he was leaving the programme.
“Whether you’ve been with us for the past 15 years or just this morning, I hope you’ve found it worthwhile,” he said.
Football Focus presenter Dan Walker will take Turnbull’s place on the show.
“Thank you for letting me into your home in the morning, whether it’s the kitchen, the living room, or – as I’m often told – the bedroom,” Turnbull joked as he closed the programme on Friday.
“I’ve had a wonderful time with my friends and colleagues who have had a lot to put up with over the years.
“I’ve always believed it’s a privilege to broadcast anywhere on the airwaves. To present this programme though has been a special honour.”
Prime Minister David Cameron was among those who praised the presenter in a special tribute video.
“You’ve brought us the news from around the world, from war zones to the White House, but for the last 15 years we’ve seen you presenting from one iconic location – the BBC Breakfast sofa,” Mr Cameron said.
He added Turnbull would now be free to enjoy those “long-awaited lie-ins”
Many of Turnbull’s co-presenters joined him on set to pay their own personal tributes to him.
Weather presenter Carol Kirkwood concluded her segment by displaying “Goodbye Billy, we love you and we will miss you” on her weather screen.
“I’ve learned a huge amount sitting next to Bill,” co-host Louise Minchin said.
The programme’s sports presenter, Sally Nugent, said: “I am genuinely going to miss you terribly, it’s going to be wonderful for you not getting up in the middle of the night, but you’ve been the most brilliant friend to work with.”
The tribute video also joked Turnbull had “14 TV wives” during his time on the programme, referring to the multiple presenters he’s worked with over the years.
One of them, Sian Williams, said: “We were sofa man and wife for more than a decade, we’ve known each other for over quarter of a century, you’re a kind and loyal friend, so thank you for that.”
James Corden was among the famous faces seen in the video. He said: “Bill, you beautiful specimen. For much of your life you were my morning glory.”
Asked to recall some memorable moments from his time on the show, Turnbull said: “I remember nearly getting into a fight with a ventriloquist dummy called Bob. And here was a moment where I actually wore a sweater made from dog hair. I couldn’t get the stuff off me for weeks.”
Walker will join the programme from Monday, presenting from Monday to Wednesday with Louise Minchin.