‘Turns you into a zombie’ Dan Walker admits BBC Breakfast role was ‘not healthy’

‘Turns you into a zombie’ Dan Walker admits BBC Breakfast role was ‘not healthy’

July 1, 2022

Dan Walker discusses his style of presenting on Channel 5 show

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Dan Walker presented BBC Breakfast from 2016, bringing viewers the latest news and updates early from in the morning until 9.15am. He left in May and during his last days with the broadcaster, colleagues paid tribute to his work. Dan moved on to Channel 5, presenting 5 News. It seems the early starts at BBC had taken a toll on his health though, as he admitted he has much more energy now and the lack of sleep wasn’t “healthy.” However, he described his former role as an “amazing job.”

When asked if it was a relief to not have to wake up at 3am anymore, Dan replied: “I never minded it when the alarm went off, you got a head-start on everyone else and I was getting up to do an amazing job.

“But it does turn you into a bit of a zombie. There was a fortnight once where I was doing other jobs, too, and getting fewer than 24 hours’ sleep per week.”

He admitted: “That’s not healthy.” 

Speaking to Radio Times, he said he felt better physically since leaving.

“I’ve got so much more energy, I feel unstoppable! I’m writing a book, and I do love cutting the grass,” he explained.

During Dan’s final episode, his former colleague Louise Minchin, who left in June 2021, made a surprise return to see him off.

She said at the time: “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.”

When his departure from BBC was announced, the father-of-three published a statement.

He said: “I can’t wait to get stuck into the daily news show, but I am also excited about making some great new TV for Channel 5.

“I love their ideas and creativity and it’s rare to get an opportunity like this where paths and ambitions meet.

“The chance to do something different was too good to turn down.”

Director of Content for Paramount UK, Ben Frow, said of Dan’s appointment: “Dan Walker joining the Channel shows that Channel 5 attracts leading talen

“Dan is a renowned broadcaster and we’re looking forward to seeing him not just fronting 5 News but bringing his experience to programming across Channel 5 as we continue to develop and grow our output.”

Taking to Twitter, Dan told his 768,000 followers: “I’m really excited but this has also been a massive decision for me because I love BBC Breakfast, I love working alongside Sally and I love the team there.

“But Channel 5 came with big ambitions, with big plans and I don’t think opportunities like this come around very often and I can’t wait.

“And what an honour to step into the shoes of Sian Williams. I know how popular she is with both the team and also the audience, so all I can say is I will do my best to maintain her incredibly high standards.

“Thank you for watching and I’ll see you soon on a TV screen somewhere.”

Dan now hosts 5 News alongside Claudia-Liza Vanderpuije, and he also told the publication he enjoys having more “flexibility” on Channel 5 compared with his previous employer.

The 45-year-old continued to work on the BBC morning show while talking part in Strictly Come Dancing last year.

He was partnered with Nadiya Bychkova, and they made it to week 11.

BBC Breakfast airs weekdays on BBC One.

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