Dan Walker is leaving his gig as a presenter on BBC Breakfast, and he will be moving on to other shows on Channel 5. It’s been an incredible six years working alongside the team at BBC.
“It’s always been my dream to do a job like this. It feels a bit surreal I won’t be sitting on the sofa anymore,” Walker revealed on Tuesday’s episode.
Former co-host Louis Minchin made a shocking comeback to wave him off.
“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,” said Minchin to Walker. “He’s never going to let you down … when things were going wrong, he’d look you in the eye and say: ‘You got this.’ You give people confidence, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
The Salford Breakfast studio displayed a wide variety of pictures from Walker’s childhood to the present day, with an ample amount being shown in honor of his send-off.
A “best bits” montage showing messages from fans, funny moments – such as the time strongman Eddie Hall raised him into the air, and poignant ones – including the fly-past for Tony Foulds, a man who has catered a memorial to 10 US airmen for decades.
The fly-past started following Walker’s encounter with Foulds by chance and revealed his story. There were recorded farewells from prominent personalities such as Olympic champions Jessica Ennis-Hill and Adam Peaty, as well as a former rugby league star Rob Burrows – whose illness on motor neuron disease was followed by BBC Breakfast.
“I’ve had so many incredible memories. Thank you for tuning in,” said Walker. “Things change. Change can be tough sometimes, but it’s also good. Keep watching, and thank you for having me.
“I love doing this job, and I always find it amazing that other people enjoy watching you do something that you love.”
It was an emotional time for Walker as he received video messages from all of his Strictly Come Dancing colleagues, including Nadia Bychkova, who said that she had such a great time coaching him. Video messages from Strictly judges and dancers such as Shirley Ballas and Anton du Beke were also shown.
“Thank you for making me laugh my legs off, for being funny and kind, thank you for being my friend,” said co-presenter Sally Nugent.
Walker tweeted his sentiments about his final show – that he had two hours and 46 minutes of sleep before this last episode, joking it was “not the best prep for the final day.”
He has been the main anchor for BBC’s Football Focus event from 2009 until 2021, when it was handed over to Alex Scott.
He will now replace Sian Williams as the Channel 5 news anchor. Williams announced her departure from the channel earlier this year. Like Walker, she was also from the BBC Breakfast sofa and went to Channel 5 in 2016.
Walker announced his departure in a video posted on Twitter last month, captioning that it was a “massive decision” to bow out of the BBC, but “I don’t think opportunities like this come around very often.”