Dan Walker: Channel 5 newsreader says he has ‘no regrets’ about leaving the BBC
Dan Walker has shared his thoughts on the BBC and his time on BBC Breakfast in a new interview. The 46-year-old, from Sheffield, hosted the breakfast show for over six years alongside co-hosts Carol Kirkwood and Naga Munchetty, before departing in 2022.
Dan, who now presents 5 News along with several of his own series, revealed he has no regrets about leaving the BBC behind. Speaking to Press Gazette, he said: “It’s a massive job to say farewell to, but I don’t regret it.”
He also added he feels “far more creative and alive” now he no longer has to set his alarm for 3 o’clock in the morning.
After leaving, Dan took up the challenge of presenting the news on Channel 5. He revealed he was set the target of increasing the show’s audience by an ambitious 20% per year. The former Football Focus presenter managed to obliterate this goal in his first year, instantly boosting viewers by 30%.
He attributed the reason for his success on the 5pm news show to the freedom he is given by the ITN producers, saying: “We don’t have the budget of some of the big channels, but we react and we listen to our audience… not like any other news programme.”
Dan recalled the time he live-messaged Gary Lineker on the show after he was asked to step down from his position on Match of the Day. He said: “I think that’s what I love about TV - it’s live television, anything can happen, and when it does, it’s your job to try and deal with it.”
Speaking to The Mirror, the former Strictly Come Dancing contestant said the BBC needs change: “Do things need to change about the BBC? Yes. Do they need to be a bit more up-to-date in the way they do things? Probably.”
On Twitter, Dan clarified to his 802,000 followers: “I was actually very nice about the BBC 😂😂”.
Since leaving the BBC, Dan has worked on several Channel 5 shows, including the immensely popular Vanished: The Hunt for Britain’s Missing People. He also teamed up with Michaela Strachan for the unique archaeology show, Digging for Treasure.
The versatile broadcaster’s latest Channel 5 venture sees him alongside co-presenter Helen Skelton for an adventure across the Pennines. Filming for Dan and Helen’s Pennine Adventure commenced this Monday 5 June.