Dan Walker (sports journalist)

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Dan Walker
Born Daniel Meirion Walker[1]
(1977-03-19) 19 March 1977 (age 37)[citation needed]
Crawley, Sussex[1]
Nationality British
Occupation Television presenter
Height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)[2]

Daniel Meirion Walker[1] (born 19 March 1977)[citation needed] is a British sports television presenter. He is the current presenter of Football Focus, the BBC's Saturday lunchtime football show. He has also presented sport on the BBC News Channel and BBC Network News, as well as regularly reporting for Final Score, Football Focus and Match of the Day.

He was born in Crawley, West Sussex[1] and earned an honours degree in History at the University of Sheffield, before continuing to attain an MA in Journalism at the same institution.

Radio career[edit]

Walker's professional broadcasting career started with work experience at Sheffield's Hallam FM. He gained the work experience after winning a competition for young sports commentators. In 1999, Walker moved to a full-time career with a 4 year stint as a sports presenter and commentator for Manchester's Key 103 radio. In his time at the station he presented the regular midweek sports show (often broadcasting from UEFA Champions League matches at Manchester United's Old Trafford ground) and also appeared as the resident sports correspondent for Mike Toolan's breakfast show.[citation needed]

Television career[edit]

Walker moved into TV with a six-month spell at Granada Television in Manchester, appearing as a commentator on the Football League Review show, before joining BBC regional news programme North West Tonight. During this time, he was nominated for a number of awards and won the Royal Television Society Sports Award in 2005 for Regional Sports Presenter of the Year. He was unable to attend the ceremony because he was covering the Champions League final in Istanbul.

In 2006, Walker started working in London and in 2008 started presenting and reporting at Wimbledon, The Open, Aintree, Ascot and The Derby at Epsom as well as the 6 Nations.

In August 2009, Walker took over from Manish Bhasin as the presenter of Football Focus. Walker also presents the web-based Friday preview Friday Focus and writes a blog on the BBC website where he discusses the show and football in general.

Walker was part of the BBC Sport team covering the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[3] He spent the tournament travelling from Cape Town at the start of the tournament to Johannesburg for the final in a double-decker bus, filming packages to be shown both as part of the TV coverage and online, and providing commentary and news via the BBC's online channels and Twitter. The bus visited a diverse selection of places along its 6,000 km journey – from townships and social projects to sites of cultural and historic significance, with the intention being to provide UK viewers with a flavour of the host nation both inside and out of the stadia.

On Saturday 26 November 2011, Gary Speed appeared as a guest on Football Focus with Walker. The two men spent a total of about four hours with each other on the day. Walker said of Speed: "I always found him to be kind, funny, intelligent and insightful. I found him to be a top bloke and really enjoyed his company." The following morning on Sunday 27 November 2011, Walker received the news that Speed had died at his house in Cheshire. Walker said that he was "stunned" by Speed's death[4] and that he was "incredibly saddened". He had known Speed for quite a long time and had played football with him in a charity match two months earlier.[5]

In March 2012, Walker said that he was "staggered by the depth of feeling and shock" on the Sunday when Speed's death was announced.[6]

In addition to Walker's TV work, he has also presented the midweek 5 Live Sport show for BBC Radio 5 Live.

Personal life[edit]

Walker is the son of a Baptist preacher, and his own Christian faith developed in his youth and early adulthood.[7] He has never worked or played sport on Sundays as a result.[8] He revealed in an interview with The Sun that he had been offered youth contracts with several football teams but refused due to games being scheduled for Sunday.[9]

He has been married since 2001 and has three children.[10]

He supports Crawley Town FC.[11]

He is a patron of The Children's Hospital Charity in Sheffield.[12] He established his own production company Enormous Pig Ltd.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Walker, Dan (13 November 2013). The Real Dan Walker (blog). (Interview). Matlock, Derbyshire: John Smedley Ltd. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Dressed for success?". BBC. 21 October 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "BBC Press Release April 2010". Wscdn.bbc.co.uk. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Dan Walker. "Dan Walker: Gary Speed leaves a huge hole in football". BBC. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  5. ^ 14:15 GMT (27 November 2011). "BBC Sport - Football Focus's Dan Walker saddened". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Dan Walker. "Dan Walker: Cardiff in full voice to commemorate Gary Speed". BBC. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Dan Walker - an interview". Gracemagazine.org.uk. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sport & Sundays". E-n.org.uk. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "The Sun". The Sun. 11 August 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  10. ^ Dan Walker. "Dan Walker: England v Wales pits brother against brother". BBC. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  11. ^ Published on Wednesday 11 January 2012 17:44 (11 January 2012). "Walker calls for more fans as Crawley climb league ladder - Crawley Town FC". Crawley Observer. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Jess at City Hall for Children’s Hospital charity". Sheffield News & Sport. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  13. ^ http://www.companiesintheuk.co.uk/director/6528424/daniel-walker

External links[edit]