Dan Walker says early mornings for his BBC Breakfast role took a toll

Dan Walker says 3am starts for his BBC Breakfast role took a toll on his brain and body… and admits he’s purposefully avoided a run-through with his new Channel 5 co-host

Dan Walker says getting up at three in the morning each day while working on BBC Breakfast took a toll on his mind and body.

The broadcaster, 45, begins presenting 5 News on Channel 5 on Monday and he insists he did not leave the BBC for financial reasons.

Former Strictly Come Dancing star Dan says he simply thought it was time to move on after anchoring for the last six years alongside Louise Minchin and then Sally Nugent, with the screen star managing on just four hours sleep a night for a long time.  

Moving on: Dan Walker, 45, says getting up at three in the morning each day while working on BBC Breakfast took a toll on his mind and body

He told the Mirror: ‘I think getting up at three o’clock in the morning for six and a half years, it definitely does sort of take its toll on your brain and your body.

‘So even though I’ve managed to cope with four hours of sleep for a long time, I think I’m looking forward to a more regular sleeping and waking pattern.

‘I’m going to stay overnight a couple of nights in London and do four days-a-week but we will work it out and hopefully I’ll get to spend more time with my family. They are being very flexible.’

Ready: Dan is set to join 5 News alongside co-host Claudia-Liza Vanderpuije who he admits he has had no newsroom run-through with as he wants things to happen organically

Dan is set to join 5 News alongside co-host Claudia-Liza Vanderpuije who he admits he has had no newsroom run-through with as he wants things to happen organically.

‘I went in and had a look around the studio and I’m quite keen to have a bit of movement involved in it,’ he explained.

‘But I didn’t really want to do a run through because I don’t really like rehearsing too much.’

Celebrations: Dan celebrated with a huge BBC Breakfast leaving do last month, filled with his friends and family

Meanwhile, Dan, who has reportedly been given a £1.5million salary for his new role, insists he will not be taking on a presenting style similar to Piers Morgan’s, saying he will not give his opinion too much on screen.

Dan left BBC Breakfast this month after six years at the helm, celebrating with a huge leaving do filled with his friends and family.

The broadcaster took to Instagram to share a slew of snaps from the night, and a string of selfies with some famous faces.

Famous friends: The broadcaster, 45, took to Instagram on Wednesday to share a slew of snaps from the night, and a string of selfies with some famous faces (Naga Munchetty pictured)

He also posed alongside a life-size cardboard cutout of himself, quipping: ‘Anybody want a cardboard cutout which is slightly taller than my human form?’

He beamed widely as he posed for a photo with Naga Munchetty, who sported a classic red lip, and another with a glamorous looking Sally Nugent.

Captioning the shots, he gushed: ‘What a wonderful evening with friends and family at my leaving do tonight.

Seeing double! He also posed alongside a life-size cardboard cutout of himself, quipping: ‘Anybody want a cardboard cutout which is slightly taller than my human form?’

‘So many surprises and just so much fun being together with so many gorgeous humans.

‘Thanks to everyone who came. I will miss you all.’      

This came after Dan’s former co-host Louise Minchin made a surprise return to BBC Breakfast to honour his last day on the show. 

Squad pic: He was joined by a large group of people to send him off to Channel 5

Pals: He beamed widely as he posed for a photo with Naga Munchetty, who sported a classic red lip, and another with a glamorous looking Sally Nugent (pictured) 

Send off: Captioning the shots, he gushed: ‘What a wonderful evening with friends and family at my leaving do tonight’

Grateful: He signed off: ‘Thanks to everyone who came. I will miss you all’

Louise, left the show last autumn after 20 years but returned today to share a warm embrace with her pal. 

His last co-host Sally Nugent led the outpouring as the BBC aired a 30-minute tribute to Walker which saw appearances from his Strictly Come Dancing partner Nadiya Bychkova and members of the Breakfast production team, as well as Minchin.

He was handed a cake and giant inflatable lobster – a nod to his Strictly Come Dancing performance while dressed in a lobster costume. 

Spoiled rotten: He was handed a cake and giant inflatable lobster – a nod to his Strictly Come Dancing performance while dressed in a lobster costume

His replacement has yet to be announced with his departure coming amid a BBC ‘brain drain’ that previously saw the likes of Andrew Marr, Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel leave the corporation. 

The host admitted he does not know who would be replacing him but said he hopes they care about the programme, the people they work with, and viewers. 

He added: ‘It’s always been my dream to do a job like this and work with people like you guys, so thank you.

Surprise: This comes after Dan’s former co-host Louise Minchin made a surprise return to BBC Breakfast to honour his last day on the show 

‘It’s come around a lot more quickly than I thought. It does feel a bit surreal, the fact that I won’t be sitting on the sofa anymore, that I won’t be sitting next to you after today, that this is my last day.’

An emotional Louise told her former co-host: ‘It’s an absolute pleasure and very emotional to be here.

‘I know lots of people watching will be very sad that you’re leaving, because you have touched the hearts of the nation over the last six years. I know people have loved watching you. I loved working with you.’

Co-hosts: Dan co-hosted the show with Louise before her exit in September 2021

Addressing viewers at the end of the show, he said: ‘There aren’t many jobs where you have a chance to give other people a voice. That’s what we all love doing more than anything else.

‘Thank you for tuning in. Thank you for all the lovely messages over the years. We never ever take any of that for granted.

‘To be serious for a minute, at a time when trust and truth have never been more important, it’s great to work with a team that do everything to make sure that what we do is fair and accurate.’ 

Cheers: Dan Walker getting clapped out on his last day presenting BBC Breakfast – before he heads to Channel 5

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