Who is Dan Walker and why is he leaving BBC Breakfast for Channel 5?

BBC presenter Dan Walker is leaving for Channel 5 soon. (PA Images via Getty Images)
BBC presenter Dan Walker is leaving for Channel 5 soon. (PA)

As BBC Breakfast co-presenter Dan Walker leaves the BBC before heading to Channel 5, we take a look at who Dan Walker actually is?

Walker is an English journalist and television presenter best known for his work on BBC Breakfast as well as his coverage of sports which included presenting BBC’s Football Focus and Match Of The Day. He replaced Bill Turnbull on the BBC Breakfast sofa in 2016.

In April 2022 Walker, who was a co-presenter on BBC Breakfast from 6am-9am every Monday to Wednesday with Sally Nugent, announced he was leaving the role after six years.

Dan Walker at Channel 5

Dan Walker is leaving the BBC for Channel 5 (BBC)
Dan Walker is leaving the BBC for Channel 5. (BBC)

Walker will be replacing news veteran Sian Williams as the new Channel 5 news anchor. Walker will also host a range of non-news programmes.

He said in a Twitter video, Walker said, “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.”

Dan Walker at the BBC

Dan Walker alongside BBC Breakfast co-host Sally Nugent
Dan Walker alongside BBC Breakfast co-host Sally Nugent

As well as co-presenting BBC Breakfast, Walker made his name at the BBC presenting Football Focus, which he had done for 12 years leaving at the conclusion of the 2020/21 football season last May.

Read more: Dan Walker absent from BBC Breakfast

Walker also sporadically presented BBC’s flagship football programme Match Of The Day as well as the networks coverage of the Rio 2016 Olympics and Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Dan Walker on Strictly

Dan Walker and Nadia Bychkova reached the quarter finals of the competition
Dan Walker and Nadia Bychkova reached the quarter finals of the competition

Walker also participated on the iconic Strictly Come Dancing with dancing professional Nadia Bychkova. Walker remarkably reached the quarter-finals of the competition.

Read more: Dan Walker looks back on Strictly accident

Walker paid tribute to Bychkova upon the pairs’ elimination, “When I go back to the first day when I was asked to dance in front of some glitter balls. At that point, if there had been a fire exit, I felt that uncomfortable I’d have just walked away.

Watch: Dan Walker talks to Yahoo about Strictly

“But this amazing woman grabbed me by the hand, and brought me out onto this dance floor.

I’m not a dancer, but she showed me that I can dance.”

Dan Walker’s religion

Handout photo courtesy of Dan Walker of himself in a hallway at the BBC studios in London (BBC)Dan Walker with Sally Nugent (James Stack/BBC)
Handout photo courtesy of Dan Walker of himself in a hallway at the BBC studios in London (BBC)Dan Walker with Sally Nugent (James Stack/BBC)

Dan Walker is a practising Christian and is the son of the minister of a local church.

In an interview with Sorted magazine, he said: “My faith plays a very significant part of my life. I don’t take much seriously in life except for my faith and my family. I believe that if you have a strong faith in Jesus Christ, it has to make a difference to how you live your life. It is the most important thing about me and I can’t imagine life without Jesus.”

Read more: Dan Walker on his Piers Morgan 'feud'

While on Strictly, an exception was made for Walker on the Halloween edition of the contest who chose to dress as a lobster alongside professional Nadia, whereas other contestants dressed up in spooky costumes.

Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova dressed up as lobsters in the Halloween edition of Stritcly (credit: BBC)
Dan Walker and Nadiya Bychkova dressed up as lobsters in the Halloween edition of Strictly (credit: BBC)

Walker explained the decision by saying, “Lots of people did ask me actually about what lobsters have got to do with Halloween.

“I should tell you, we don’t celebrate Halloween in our house and I’ve got to say a huge thank you to Strictly because they enabled me to be a part of that programme without sort of doing Halloween."

Dan Walker’s wife

Walker is married to Sarah Walker whom he met while studying for his masters degree in Journalism at the University of Sheffield in 1999.

Dan and Sarah have three kids, Susanna, Jessica and Chuck, as well as adorable pet pooch Winnie.

The Walker household currently resides in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

Watch: Dan Walker announces BBC exit