Dan Walker Leaves BBC Breakfast for Channel 5

Photo: BBC

Dan Walker has been an integral part of BBC Breakfast for six years, and now, he’s ready to move on. The journalist bows out from the show to news anchor for Channel 5 and host other shows there. 

“It’s always been my dream to do a job like this. It feels a bit surreal I won’t be sitting on the sofa anymore,” Walker revealed on Tuesday’s episode. 

His previous co-host Louis Minchinwho made a surprise comeback to wave him off.

“It’s very emotional to be here. You have touched the hearts of the nation. I loved working with you, and we had such fun times,” said Minchin to Walker. “He’s never going to let you down … when things were going wrong, he’d look you in the eye and say: ‘You got this.’ You give people confidence, and that’s a beautiful thing.” 

The audience watched with bated breath as Salford Breakfast studio displayed wall-to-wall pictures of Walker from childhood up to the present day, and the last half hour of the show was dedicated to his send-off. 

A “best bits” montage showing messages from fans, funny moments – such as the time strongman Eddie Hall raised him into the air, and poignant ones – including the fly-past for Tony Foulds, a man who has catered a memorial to 10 US airmen for decades. 

A campaign for fly-past started following Walker’s encounter with Foulds by chance and revealed his passion. Additionally, there were recorded farewells from prominent personalities such as Olympic champions Jessica Ennis-Hill and Adam Peaty, as well as former rugby league star Rob Burrows – whose story on motor neuron disease has been followed by BBC Breakfast

“I’ve had so many incredible memories. Thank you for tuning in,” said Walker. “Things change. Change can be tough sometimes, but it’s also good. Keep watching, and thank you for having me.

“I love doing this job, and I always find it amazing that other people enjoy watching you do something that you love.” 

Walker’s video messages from his Strictly Come Dancing partner, judge, and other dancers were all smiles as they sent their best wishes to the journalist. His dancing partner, Nadia Bychkova even said he was “the best student; we had such an amazing time.”

“Thank you for making me laugh my legs off, for being funny and kind, thank you for being my friend,” said co-presenter Sally Nugent. 

Walker tweeted his sentiments about his final show – that he had two hours and 46 minutes of sleep before this last episode, joking it was “not the best prep for the final day.” 

He has presented the BBC’s Football Focus event from 2009 until 2021. He passed these reins onto Alex Scott after that.

He will now replace Sian Williams as the Channel 5 news anchor. Williams announced her departure from the channel earlier this year. Like Walker, she was also from the BBC Breakfast sofa and went to Channel 5 in 2016. 

Walker announced his departure in a video posted on Twitter last month, captioning that it was a “massive decision” to bow out of the BBC, but “I don’t think opportunities like this come around very often.”


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