Dan Walker (broadcaster)

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Dan Walker
Born Daniel Meirion Walker
(1977-03-19) 19 March 1977 (age 40)
Crawley, West Sussex, England
Residence Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Occupation Journalist, television presenter
Height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)[1]
Television Football Focus
Final Score
Match of the Day
BBC Breakfast
Spouse(s) Sarah Walker (m. 2001)
Children 2

Daniel Meirion "Dan" Walker (born 19 March 1977)[2][3] is an English journalist and television presenter, best known for presenting BBC television programmes including Football Focus (2009–present) and BBC Breakfast (2016–present).

He also presents shows on BBC Radio 5 Live and has presented sport on the BBC News Channel, as well as regularly reporting for Final Score and Match of the Day.

Early life[edit]

Walker was born in Crawley, West Sussex, the son of the minister of a local church and a Welsh mother.[3] He lived in Crawley until the age of 18, where he attended Ifield Primary School, Three Bridges Middle School, and Hazelwick Secondary School.[4] He supports Crawley Town F.C.[5] He earned a BA (Hons) degree in History in 1998 and an MA degree in Journalism Studies in 1999 at the University of Sheffield.[6]

Career[edit]

Radio[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[edit]

Walker moved into television 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.[7] 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[8] 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.[9]

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.[10]

In addition to Walker's TV work, he presented Afternoon Edition every Monday-Thursday [11] on BBC Radio 5 Live until 2016, and has previously hosted shows on the station's evening sports output.

In 2016, Walker replaced Bill Turnbull as presenter of BBC Breakfast. His first show aired on 29 February and he currently co-presents the programme from Monday to Wednesday with Louise Minchin. Dan Walker presented the 'Clash of the Titans' segment of the Sport Relief telethon. Along with that, Walker also reported for the 2016 Olympics.

Charity work[edit]

Walker is an active patron of several charities including the Sheffield Children's Hospital charity,[12] alongside Jessica Ennis-Hill, Michael Vaughan and Lee Westwood. He holds a golf day for the charity every year, laid the first brick on the new hospital wing in 2015 and, in 2016, officially opened the £2.3 million MRI scanner.

Personal life[edit]

Walker has been married to Sarah Walker since 2001, and they have three children, daughters Susanna Walker and Jessica Walker. The family reside in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

Walker became a Christian at the age of 12.[13] He made a decision not to work on a Sunday once he started employment and has maintained that throughout his career.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walker, Dan (21 October 2009). "Dressed for success?". BBC Sport. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Walker, Dan (13 November 2013). "The Real Dan Walker" (Interview). Matlock, Derbyshire: John Smedley. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "BBC Presenter, Dan Walker, talks about his time in Crawley - Crawley TV". Crawley TV. Retrieved 2015-08-06. 
  5. ^ "Walker calls for more fans as Crawley climb league ladder". Crawley and Horley Observer. 11 January 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "My Sheffield". Your University. The University of Sheffield. 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  7. ^ "BBC Press Release April 2010". Wscdn.bbc.co.uk. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  8. ^ Walker, Dan (27 November 2011). "Gary Speed leaves a huge hole in football". BBC. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "Football Focus's Dan Walker saddened". BBC Sport. 27 November 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  10. ^ Walker, Dan. "Cardiff in full voice to commemorate Gary Speed". BBC. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "BBC Radio 5 live - Afternoon Edition". BBC. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Jess at City Hall for Children's Hospital charity". Sheffield News & Sport. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Dan Walker - an interview". Gracemagazine.org.uk. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "Sport & Sundays". E-n.org.uk. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bill Turnbull
Weekday Presenter of BBC Breakfast
2016–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent