Why is Dan Walker leaving BBC Breakfast? Where is presenter going, what’s new job, and who is replacing him

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Sally Nugent’s co-host has presented BBC Breakfast for the final time - and he’s now been tipped to be replaced by another BBC presen

Dan Walker told viewers he had “no idea” who will replace him on the BBC Breakfast red sofa when he hosted the show for the final time in May 2022.

On his last day, the presenter also revealed he had to host his final show after just over two hours sleep due to having to stop at a service station on the way to Salford, where BBC Breakfast is filmed, on the evening of May 16 to charge his electric car.

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Although it has been a few days since Walker presented his last show, it is still not known who will replace him in the long-term.

Ever since Walker first took to Twitter to tell fans he would be leaving the BBC and moving to Channel 5 in April, viewers have been left wondering who will take over the coveted role.

So, what did Dan Walker say on Twitter, what did he say about his move to Channel 5, when was his last day on BBC Breakfast and who could replace him?

Here’s everything you need to know.

BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker has announced he will be leaving the show to present rival news programme 5 News.BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker has announced he will be leaving the show to present rival news programme 5 News.
BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker has announced he will be leaving the show to present rival news programme 5 News. | Getty Images

When did Dan Walker leave BBC Breakfast?

Dan Walker announced on Tuesday 3 May that his last day presenting BBC Breakfast will be Tuesday 17 May.

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Speaking to co-host Sally Nugent on that edition of the show he said: “May 17 is my last day, so two weeks today.”

Nugent said: “That’s not many shifts left, is it?”

Walker replied: “Well, if you discount this one because we’re on it, it’s only six.”

Nugent responded: “That’s not many early alarm calls.”

Referencing the fact that he gets up at 3am so that he can be ready to begin presenting BBC Breakfast at 6am, Walker said: “I know. Six more three o’clockers and then I’m out of here.”

Nugent then asked Walker if it was lovely for him to know he would be getting more sleep.

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He replied: “It is nice, but as I have explained to you it is also quite a big decision and a sad one as well.”

Nugent interjected with “Yes, Daniel, I know It’s okay, we’ve talked about it a lot. It’s fine.”

Walker then went on to thank viewers who have said “lovely things” to him since he announced he would be leaving the show.

“The other thing to say is thank you to everybody who’s sent so many lovely messages. Lots of people want to chat to you about this program, it means an awful lot to an awful lot of people.

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“It’s reminded me how special this show is and how much everybody who watches it loves it. Thank you very much for everyone who’s come up and said some lovely things.”

What did Dan Walker say on Twitter about his last day?

The presenter took to his on his personal Twitter page in the early hours of Tuesday 17 May to express his his excitement for his last day.

In a video posted just after 5.20am, which showed Walker on his final walk to the BBC Breakfast studios, he said he was going to enjoy his last day.

He said: “Good morning. Here we go then, final stroll in to BBC Breakfast. You can see it’s a glorious morning here in Salford.

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“I’m armed with cakes for the briliant Breakfast team, who’ve been an absolute pleasure to work with for the last six years.

“Hopefully it’s going to be a fun day. Lots of talk about, lots of big news stories around today. We’ve got some great guests on the show as well so I’m going to enjoy the last one.”

Why did Dan Walker leave BBC Breakfast?

Walker’s last day at BBC Breakfast comes just a few weeks after he responded to reports that his channel move was motivated by money.

Writing on his personal Twitter page and personal Instagram page on Monday 11 April he said that the truth behind his channel 5 is “simple”.

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He said: “It is often the case that the simple truth is much duller than all the made-up ‘moles’ and so-called ‘sources’ claim.

“In a nutshell… a bloke with a really good job, which he loved, got offered a really good job somewhere else which provided an amazing new challenge and the chance to make some exciting TV. The bloke explained to his current employers that, even though it was a tough decision, he had decided to leave.

“They are now trying their best to allow him to make a dignified departure. Have a great Monday. I’m off for some toast.”

Walker also told Nugent on the red sofa earlier this month that he’s “never ever been motivated by money” in any job he’s had.

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Who will replace Dan Walker?

Various people have been tipped to replace Walker on the BBC Breakfast sofa, although the BBC has not yet made an official announcement about who will be his replacement.

The BBC has posted a job advert for a Breakfast presenter - which suggests that the job may not be taken on by someone who is already working at the BBC - although fans and bookmakers believe it is more likely to be a current BBC presenter who will be given the post.

Viewers have been quick to give their thoughts on who they think should take over the role on Twitter.

Many seem to suggest that fellow BBC journalists and presenters Jon Kay and Ben Thompson, who both sometimes host the breakfast programme could be deserving of the role.

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Bookmakers Ladbrokes have also suggested that Kay is the favourite to take over from Walker.

Walker himself appeared to back Kay as his replacement on Twitter.

Responding to a tweet from Kay wishing him luck in his new job, Walker wrote “Thank you Jon. That’s so kind of you. P.S. If I had one, you’d get my vote.”

Walker did then say live on his last ever show that he had “no idea” who would take over from him.

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He added: “I hope that they care about the programme, I hope they care about the people they work with and I hope they care about the viewers as well.”

Kay and Thompson are not the only BBC presenters who Twitter users have said they would like to see replace Walker on the BBC Breakfast sofa.

Others have said that they would like to see BBC Breakfast sport presenter Mike Bushell or BBC Breakfast business presenter Nina Warhurst take up the post.

Other names that are rumoured to be in the running to replace Walker include AJ Odudu, Laura Tobin, Jermaine Jenas and Matt Baker.

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What does the job advert say?

The BBC Careers team posted a job advert on Twitter, looking for a replacement for Walker, on 10 May.

The tweet reads “BBC Breakfast has been a morning staple with viewers across the nation for over 20 years We are looking for our a new Chief Presenter to wake up the nation on our iconic red sofa.”

Walker re-tweeted the advert to his own Twitter page with this caption “This is a brilliant job, working with brilliant people Please look after the sofa.”

Walker later re-posted another tweet about the job opportunity to his Twitter page about the role, with the jokey caption “Who on earth would be daft enough to leave a job like this? Get that CV polished up.”

Applications for the job have now closed.

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What did Dan Walker say about his channel move?

On Monday 4 April, the presenter video posted on Twitter and said that he will be leaving the BBC show after six years and moving to Channel 5, replacing Sian Williams.

In a video first posted to the official Channel 5 Twitter page just after 3pm on Monday 4 April, Walker can be seen speaking directly to the camera and said the decision was “massive” for him.

A minute later, Walker then retweeted the video on his personal Twitter page.

In the video, Walker said: “Hello, Dan Walker here. I have a little bit of news for you. In the next few weeks, I’m going to be leaving BBC Breakfast and moving to 5 News and to Channel 5.

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“I’m really excited, but this has also been a massive decision for me because I love BBC Breakfast. 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.”

Walker, who was also the host of BBC One’s Football Focus from 2009 to 2021, went on to say that alongside 5 News, he would also present other programmes across the channel.

He said: “What I love about this deal is I not only get to present the news, but also host a whole range of new programmes right across the channel.”

No further details about what these programmes will be have been released.

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What did Dan Walker say about Sian Williams, and how did she respond?

Walker, who came fifth in the 2021 series of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, also used the video announcement to praise fellow broadcaster and ex-BBC Breakfast presenter Sian Williams.

Sian, who presented BBC Breakfast from 2001 to 2012 when the programme’s production team was relocated to Salford, has been the main presenter of 5 News since 2016.

However, she announced in March that she was leaving the role, with her last day being on Thursday 31 March.

In his video, Walker said: “What an honour to step in to shoes of Sian Williams.

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“I know how popular she is, with both the team and also the audience, so all I can say is I will do my very best to maintain her incredibly high standards.”

Another video was then posted on the official Channel 5 Twitter page, showing Williams in the 5 News studio.

She said: “Dan Walker, welcome to your new home. I know what it’s like to move from the BBC Breakfast sofa to the Channel 5 newsroom, I absolutely loved it and I think you will too.

“Have fun and good luck.”

She finished the video by blowing a kiss to the camera.

When will Dan Walker begin presenting 5 News?

Channel 5 has announced that Dan Walker will begin presenting their news programme on Monday 6 June.

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Walker tweeted a video to his personal Twitter page on Monday 30 May to announce the news.

In the video, Walker is sitting alongside his new co-host Claudia-Liza Vanderpuije in the Channel 5 News studios.

The pair introduce themselves and then Walker said: “It’s great to be joining Channel 5, but news is never about who sits in the chair. It’s the stories that matter most, from a team you can trust.”

Channel 5 News is on each weekday between 5pm and 6pm.

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