Dan Walker (broadcaster)

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Dan Walker
Walker in 2017
Daniel Meirion Walker

(1977-03-19) 19 March 1977 (age 47)[1]
EducationHazelwick School
Alma materUniversity of Sheffield (BA, MA)
Occupation(s)Journalist, television presenter
Employer(s)Paramount Networks UK & Australia, Channel 5, Classic FM
Television5 News
Sarah Walker
(m. 2001)

Daniel Meirion Walker (born 19 March 1977) is an English journalist, newsreader and television presenter. He currently presents 5 News on Channel 5 and the weekday breakfast show on Classic FM.

Walker was the host of Football Focus from 2009 to 2021, as well as BBC Breakfast from 2016 until May 2022. He also presented shows on BBC Radio 5 Live and presented Sportsday on the BBC News Channel and BBC World News, as well as regularly reporting for Final Score and Match of the Day.

Early life[edit]

Daniel Meirion Walker was born on 19 March 1977 in Crawley, Sussex, to a Welsh mother.[2][3] He lived in Crawley with his parents, two sisters and a brother,[4] where he attended Ifield Primary School, Three Bridges Middle School, and Hazelwick Secondary School.[5]

To further his education, he moved to Sheffield to study, earning a BA (Hons) degree in History 1998, plus MA degree in Journalism Studies in 1999, at the University of Sheffield.[6] He was later awarded an Honorary LittD in 2019.[6]



In 1998, Walker's professional broadcasting career started with work experience at Sheffield's Hallam FM.[7] In 1999, Walker moved to a full-time career with a four-year stint as a sports presenter and commentator for Manchester's Key 103.[8]

In 2015, in addition to his TV presenting work, Walker presented Afternoon Edition every Monday–Thursday on BBC Radio 5 Live until 2016.[9]

On 24 June 2023, Dan stood in for Aled Jones on Classic FM in his Saturday morning show from 10:00 to 13:00.

From 8 January 2024, Dan became the regular presenter of the weekday breakfast show on Classic FM.[10]


In 2003, Walker moved into television, joining Granada Television in Manchester, as a commentator on the Football League Review show.[8] In 2004, he started at the BBC for the regional news programme North West Tonight, where he was nominated for 'Nations and Regions Sports Presenter or Commentator' at the Royal Television Society Sports Awards in 2005.[11]

In 2006, Walker started working in London, in 2008, his first moment presenting on national television being and interview on Henman Hill at 2008 Wimbledon Championships, when Andy Murray was playing Richard Gasquet.[4] He has since covered The Open, Aintree, Ascot and The Derby at Epsom as well as the Six Nations.[8]

In August 2009, Walker took over from Manish Bhasin as the presenter of the BBC's Football Focus,[12] a slot he held for 12 years, before eventually being succeeded by Alex Scott in 2021.[12]

Walker was part of the BBC Sport team covering the 2010 FIFA World Cup from the England team base.[13]

On 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[14] that Speed had died by hanging [15] at his house in Cheshire. Walker said that he was "stunned" by Speed's death[14] and that he was "incredibly saddened".[16] He had known Speed for quite a long time and had played football with him in a charity match two months earlier.[16] 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.[17]

Walker (left) interviewing Ruud Gullit at the 2017 FA Cup Final

In 2016, Walker replaced Bill Turnbull as presenter of BBC Breakfast. His first show aired on 29 February and he presented the programme from Monday to Wednesday with Louise Minchin until mid-2021, and with Sally Nugent from late 2021 onwards. Walker presented the 'Clash of the Titans' segment of the Sport Relief telethon. He also reported for the 2016 Olympics.[18]

In January 2019, Walker had a chance meeting with Tony Foulds, in Endcliffe Park, Sheffield, where Foulds was voluntarily maintaining the "Mi Amigo" memorial. Foulds, then aged eight, was in Endcliffe Park when a USAAF Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber crashed in the park in February 1944; the crash killed all ten men on board.[19] The pilot apparently tried to avoid Foulds and his friends. After the meeting, Walker started a campaign on social media to organise a flypast at the park.[19] The campaign was successful, and the flypast took place on 22 February 2019, the 75th anniversary of the crash. The event was broadcast nationally and thousands of people, including the families of the airmen involved in the crash, attended the flypast.[19]

In November 2020, Walker was confirmed as the new host of The NFL Show following previous host Mark Chapman's decision to step down.[20]

Walker left Football Focus after 12 years on 22 May 2021;[21] he continued as a presenter on BBC Breakfast and BBC Sport.[1]

On 10 August 2021, it was announced he would be competing in the nineteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing.[22] He was paired with the Ukrainian-Slovenian professional Nadiya Bychkova. They were eliminated in week 11, coming 5th.[23]

In September 2021, Walker was one of many offering tributes to his co-presenter Louise Minchin who left BBC Breakfast after 20 years of working on the programme.[24]

On 4 April 2022, Walker announced, via a Twitter video, that he would be leaving the BBC to move to Channel 5.[25] On 6 June 2022, Walker made his Channel 5 news debut, reporting live from 10 Downing Street when prime minister Boris Johnson survived a no confidence vote.[26]

In December 2022, Walker took part in and won, an episode of the quiz show The Weakest Link, with all contestants having previously been involved in Strictly Come Dancing.[27]

In 2023 Vanished began on Channel 5 with Walker as presenter.

Charity work[edit]

Walker is an active patron of several charities including the Sheffield Children's Hospital charity,[28] and attended an event for the cause in 2012, at Sheffield City Hall, alongside fellow University of Sheffield Alumna [6] Jessica Ennis-Hill.[28]

In 2019, Walker climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief with a number of other celebrities, including Dani Dyer, Ed Balls, Shirley Ballas, Alexander Armstrong and Anita Rani.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Walker lives in Sheffield.[30] He has been married to Sarah since 2001. The couple met at Sheffield University and they have three children, two daughters and a son.[31][32][33] He supports Crawley Town Football Club.[34][35]

He is a practising Christian[36][37] who has maintained his position not to work on Sunday throughout his career, although he comments on twitter on Sundays.[38]

In February 2023, Walker was taken to hospital after being in a collision with a car while cycling in Sheffield.[39] He later said that wearing a helmet saved his life.[40]


  • Dan Walker's Football Thronkersaurus: Football's Finest Tales (Simon & Schuster, 2014) ISBN 978-1471136290
  • Magic, Mud and Maradona: Cup Football's Finest Tales (Simon & Schuster, 2016) ISBN 978-1471136313
  • Remarkable People: Extraordinary Stories of Everyday Lives (Headline, 2021) ISBN 978-1472278890
  • Standing on the Shoulders: Incredible Heroes and How They Inspire Us (Headline, 2022) ISBN 978-1472291271


  1. ^ a b "Dan Walker: Football Focus presenter to leave at end of season". BBC Sport. 8 April 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Dan Walker on Instagram: "Thank you for all the lovely birthday messages."". instagram. 19 March 2020.
  3. ^ Walker, Dan (13 November 2013). "The Real Dan Walker" (Interview). Matlock, Derbyshire: John Smedley. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b Gibsone, Harriet (22 October 2022). "Dan Walker looks back: 'I am still driven by the same things as that kid in the bad cardigan'". theguardian.com.
  5. ^ "Dan Walker, My Crawley". Crawley TV (Youtube). 2015.
  6. ^ a b c "University of Sheffield Alumni". The University of Sheffield. 2020.
  7. ^ Westbrook, Caroline (20 June 2018). "Dan Walker age, career and wife as he takes a break from BBC Breakfast". metro.co.uk.
  8. ^ a b c "Dan Walker Biography". jla.co.uk. 2023.
  9. ^ "Afternoon Edition". BBC Radio 5 live. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  10. ^ Martin, Roy (3 January 2024). "Dan Walker signs up for breakfast on Classic FM". Radio Today. Retrieved 3 January 2024.
  11. ^ "RTS Television Sports Awards 2005". rts.org.uk. 31 May 2006.
  12. ^ a b Simon, Jeff (14 April 2021). "Alex Scott reportedly set to take over from Dan Walker as host of BBC's Football Focus". bbc.co.uk.
  13. ^ "BBC Press Release April 2010". bbc.co.uk. 22 April 2010.
  14. ^ a b Walker, Dan (27 November 2011). "Gary Speed leaves a huge hole in football". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Gary Speed narrative verdict after wife tells inquest of marriage strain". BBC News. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Football Focus's Dan Walker saddened". BBC Sport. 27 November 2011.
  17. ^ Walker, Dan (1 March 2012). "Cardiff in full voice to commemorate Gary Speed". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  18. ^ Blair, Olivia (15 August 2016). "Rio 2016: Dan Walker's BBC Olympic broadcast interrupted by hen party on Copacabana beach". The Independent. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  19. ^ a b c "Sheffield bomber crash: Flypast on 75th anniversary". BBC News. 22 February 2019. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  20. ^ TVZone (18 November 2020). "Mark Chapman steps down from the NFL Show as Dan Walker is announced as replacement". TVZoneUK. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  21. ^ Walker, Dan (22 May 2021). "Football Focus: Dan Walker signs off as host for the last time". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 22 May 2021. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  22. ^ "Strictly Come Dancing 2021: BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker confirmed for new series". Metro. 10 August 2021.
  23. ^ "Dan and Nadiya leave Strictly in the Quarter Final". bbc.co.uk. 5 December 2021.
  24. ^ "Louise Minchin to leave BBC Breakfast after 20 years". bbc.co.uk. 8 June 2021.
  25. ^ Walker, Dan [@mrdanwalker] (4 April 2022). "Big decision for me to leave Breakfast but I'm really excited to join 5 News & Channel 5" (Tweet). Retrieved 4 April 2022 – via Twitter.
  26. ^ "Dan Walker's Channel 5 debut attracts a massive increase in viewers". walesonline.co.uk. 7 June 2022. Retrieved 9 June 2022.
  27. ^ "The Weakest Link - S02E01, 17.12.2022 – Strictly Special". Daniil (Youtube). 22 December 2022.
  28. ^ a b "Jess at City Hall for Children's Hospital charity". Sheffield News & Sport. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  29. ^ Chambers, Georgia (13 March 2019). "Kilimanjaro Comic Relief climb 2019: Celebrity team, TV channel and all you need to know". standard.co.uk.
  30. ^ "Tweet". Twitter. Retrieved 13 April 2022.
  31. ^ "BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker makes rare admission about wife Sarah". HELLO!. 4 November 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  32. ^ "BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker makes cheeky intimate quip about wife Sarah". HELLO!. 19 July 2021. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  33. ^ Honebeek, Talya (1 October 2021). "Strictly Come Dancing star Dan Walker's wife, religion and BBC salary". Birmingham Live. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  34. ^ Walker, Dan (8 December 2009). "Nuts, Crawley trip ends in disappointment". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  35. ^ Walker, Dan (24 February 2011). "Bizarre weekend as Crawley go for glory". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  36. ^ "Dan Walker – an interview". Gracemagazine.org.uk. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  37. ^ Jones, Marcus (28 March 2021). "Dan Walker: My Christian faith is what makes me tick". Premier Christianity. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  38. ^ "Sport & Sundays". E-n.org.uk. Retrieved 17 November 2011.
  39. ^ "Dan Walker: TV presenter injured in bicycle crash". BBC News. 20 February 2023.
  40. ^ "Dan Walker bike accident: Helmet saved my life, says TV star". BBC News. 21 February 2023.

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