Dan Walker: Questions & Answers

Name?
Dan Walker – but I did work under the pseudonym Tom Wilson for a year (not my choice)!

Age?
When I started at the BBC 18 months ago 2 people tried to guess my age. One said 21 the other 35! It’s actually right in the middle – 28.

Where are you from?
I hail from Crawley in West Sussex but my accent is a strange blend of Yorkshire, Mancunian and Scouse having lived in the those 3 cities for the past 10 years. Bascially if you see me out of work I will be wearing a cloth cap and shellsuit and shopping in Asdor!

How did you get started in broadcasting?
My wife (then girlfriend) entered me in a commentary competition when I was at university. I won it despite having to send a mate in to pretend to be me for the final because I was playing in a university cup final.

When was that?
My first proper job was at Key 103 in Manchester. I started in September 1999. My first game was the FA cup replay between Barnsley v Stockport. Barnsley went through on away goals after a 3-3 draw.

Why Sports News broadcasting?
If you are not good enough to play sport you might as well talk about it. This is just a part time job though…I am still waiting for a premiership scout to spot me playing 6-a-side and come in with a bid!

Where else would have viewers seen or heard you before?
Well I have been at North West Tonight for the past year and a half working alongside the legendary Gordon Burns and Dianne Oxberry. Before that I was working for ITV in the north west and before that I was a radio warrior. I work for Final Score on Saturday’s now.

What is your Best on-air moment?
Commentating on England v Greece in the world cup qualifiers…bonkers! Beckham’s goal was great – only bettered by the Greek keepers name – Demetrios Eleftheropoulos!

What is your Worst on-air moment?
Throwing up a few too many Big Macs in a air ship 1500ft above the City of Manchester Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 2002 commonwealth games.

What would you like to do before your career ends?
A feature on underwater darts – it’s the future!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Well I take my Christian faith very seriously so I spend quite a lot of time at church and help out in the kids clubs and things like that. I enjoy doing anything sporty (especially footy and golf) and love spending time with my wife.

What advice would you give to anyone that would like to get into the broadcasting world?
When I was 11 I wrote a letter to Des Lynam and he told me to do my GCSE’s and A’Levels, pursue a degree in something outside media (I did history), and then do a postgraduate course in journalism ( I went to Sheffield) and then get a job in local radio. I just about followed his advice and through God’s providence I am here today! But there are many ways to get into journalism – work experience is a great start…ask loads of questions and use the time to make yourself invaluable! Just keep asking for opportunities, put something wierd on your CV and if you are good enough you will get a chance.

Other Information?
I almost had the perfect opportinuty to thank Lord Lynam for his advice last year. I won the Best Regional Sports Presenter at the RTS Sports awards and Desmond was presenting the gong…sadly I couldn’t go – but I had a great excuse. I was covering the champions league final in Istanbul!

A big thanks to Dan for taking part.

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