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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Sami Quadri

Dan Walker breaks silence after announcing he will leave BBC for Channel 5

Dan Walker has broken his silence after announcing he will leave the BBC to become the host of Channel 5 News.

The TV star, who has hosted BBC Breakfast since 2016, announced the shock departure on Monday after admitting he was lured by their “big ambitions and big plans”.

Appearing on BBC Breakfast on Tuesday morning, the presenter discussed the move with friend and co-host Sally Nugent.

"We’ve been friend for 20 years, we worked together for six months," Nugent said. "And you’re off!"

"Yes," he replied. "But as you know - as I explained to you before all the news came out - this has been a really difficult decision for me. Probably the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my career.

"Because I love you to bits and I love working with you."

"I love you too, Daniel," Nugent interjected.

Walker continued: "And I love the team at BBC Breakfast. These six years I’ve had on this sofa have been the best six years of my career by some distance. But I think sometimes opportunities come by and you have to grab them, don’t you?

"I’ve never ever been motivated by money in any job that I’ve ever taken and even though I love BBC Breakfast and everybody that works on the show, it’s a fantastic opportunity to work with a brilliant team at Channel 5. And also, go and make some other programmes outside of here."

Walker is one of the BBC’s best-known presenters, previously hosting Football Focus from 2009 to 2021 and also working across Radio 5 Live. Last year he competed on Strictly Come Dancing, coming fifth.

He was also among the highest paid at the corporation, making £295,000 a year as host of BBC Breakfast, according to the BBC’s public salary disclosures.

He is among several high-profile stars to leave the BBC in the past few months.

Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis and the BBC’s North America editor, Jon Sopel, left the BBC together in February to launch a new podcast on its audio rival Global.

Andrew Marr left the BBC after 21 years to host a radio show on LBC, also owned by Global.

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