Dan Walker laughs off Sheffield Hallam '˜not proper university' joke

TV presenter Dan Walker ruffled a few feathers by joking that Sheffield Hallam was not a '˜proper' university on BBC Breakfast this morning.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 12 January, 2019, 09:50
BBC presenter Dan Walker receiving his honorary doctorate from the University of Sheffield

But after some people took exception, he was quick to remind people it was said entirely in jest.

Mr Walker was last week given an honorary doctorate by the University of Sheffield, from where he graduated in 1998 with a BA in history.

Appearing on BBC Breakfast this morning, a fellow presenter wrongly suggested he was now a doctor of Sheffield Hallam University.

Mr Walker quickly corrected the mistake, responding '˜the other one, the proper one' before hastily clarifying he was '˜only joking' and accusing his colleague of '˜dropping me in it'.

That did not stop his words whipping up a minor storm on Twitter, with some people taking offence.

Garry Birtles commented: 'What's wrong with Sheffield Hallam!!?? Superb university and some thoroughly good sorts from there.'

Janice Flintham tweeted: 'Not a good way to start a Saturday morning, Dan, by insulting Sheffield Hallam University

And John Lyne wrote: "I do think you need to properly apologise to Sheffield hallam university for your disparaging comment that it isn't a proper university.'

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Responding to the criticism, Mr Walker tweeted: 'Honestly... if you are offended by the joke about @sheffhallamuni on #BBCbreakfast then you need another 30 minutes in bed.

'As @sheffielduni alumni I think it's actually against the law not to comment and would expect nothing less in return #SheffieldIsSuper.'

Most people, it seems, were able to see the funny side.

Helen Peat tweeted: 'I had one son at Uni of Sheffield and one at Hallam - it was a running competition in our house! As I always say horses for courses.'

And Tom Evans wrote: 'Apparently I didn't go to a proper university according to @mrdanwalker #hallam but he is featuring my team @HullCity on @BBCSport #footballfocus today so I'll forgive him #banter."

Neither university appears to have risen to the bait yet.