Dan Walker: Broadcaster to feature legendary fundraiser John Burkhill on Channel 5 news programme

After running yesterday’s Sheffield Half Marathon, John Burkhill will appear on national television tonight with Dan Walker to take his fundraising to a wider audience.
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Better known as the ‘Man with the Pram’, Mr Burkhill, aged 84, is a well-known face in Sheffield with his green wig and iconic pram never far away.

He has been raising money for Macmillan for 16 years and is £80,000 off his million-pound target.

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Mr Burkhill said: “I set out to get £250,000 and I did that, then I raised it to £500,000 and I did that, then £750,000, so why not go for a million.”

Channel 5 broadcaster, Dan Walker, pictured with John Burkhill in Sheffield city centre this morningChannel 5 broadcaster, Dan Walker, pictured with John Burkhill in Sheffield city centre this morning
Channel 5 broadcaster, Dan Walker, pictured with John Burkhill in Sheffield city centre this morning

Channel 5 presenter and Sheffield resident Dan Walker met Mr Burkhill in the city centre this morning for a segment on his 5 News programme tonight.

Keen to spread the word about Mr Burkhill nationally, Dan said: “I’ve heard a lot about John but spending the morning with him was a real treat.

“Everyone loves him and it’s great to see how he has genuine conversations with people from all walks of life who are all keen to support him and help him reach that £1 million mark. He is a very special man.

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“I know he wears a green wig but underneath that is a serious desire to help others by raising money for McMillan Cancer Support. What is truly amazing is he never asks for money but people just drop it in his bucket.

Dan Walker with legendary fundraiser John Burkhill in Sheffield city centre this morningDan Walker with legendary fundraiser John Burkhill in Sheffield city centre this morning
Dan Walker with legendary fundraiser John Burkhill in Sheffield city centre this morning

“I know he loves the people and the city of Sheffield but it’s also clear that we love him.”

Mr Burkhill started fundraising in memory of his late wife and daughter, who died just a year apart in

the early nineties.

The pram he walks with is the one that he bought for his daughter in 1961, and his wife’s teddy bear is on the front.

Dan Walker with John Burkhill in Sheffield city centre this morning (Photo: Jennifer Mannion)Dan Walker with John Burkhill in Sheffield city centre this morning (Photo: Jennifer Mannion)
Dan Walker with John Burkhill in Sheffield city centre this morning (Photo: Jennifer Mannion)
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He said: “When I’m pushing that pram, I know it sounds a bit daft, but I feel them walking with me. I still think about them all the time.”

He said he was overwhelmed by the support of the crowd: “They’re absolutely brilliant. People are struggling, but they’re still donating, that’s fantastic.

“Everyone who puts a penny in, that’s a penny more than we had the day before. I look at it like that.”

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He has been acknowledged for his efforts over the years, carrying the Olympic torch in Sheffield in 2012 and being honoured by the Queen in 2020.

But for all the recognition, Mr Burkhill said it is about the people of Sheffield he is trying to raise money for.

On his online fundraising page, he tells a story of a young girl’s excitement to speak to him while on the Sheffield Star walk a few years ago.

The girl had leukaemia and her father told the ‘Man with the Pram’ that she would be talking about this for days to come.

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Mr Burkhill said: “That, I’m not ashamed to say, made me cry and whenever I am having a bad day I just think of her face and it drives me on.”

You can catch the Man with the Pram tonight on Channel 5 at 5pm.

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