Dan Walker blasts BBC over Prince Philip death coverage ahead of Channel 5 move

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Former BBC presenter Dan Walker has criticised the BBC over its coverage of Prince Philip’s death, saying that it effectively “forced grief on a nation”.

The broadcaster cleared its programming schedule and put mirrored, blanket coverage on BB1, BBC2 and its News Channel.

The back-to-back reporting of the royal’s death sparked 110,000 complaints.

Dan, who announced he was leaving the BBC to switch to Channel 5 last month, discussed the coverage on BBC Radio 4’s The Media Show.

He said there needed to be “balance” and added: “You can report on it but you can't make everybody feel the same way.

"Some people don't feel that way about the Royal Family. I think that's important."

Prince Philip died aged 99 on April 9 2021.

The BBC said its coverage was justified as his death was a “significant event” that generated “lots of interest nationally and internationally”.

Dan, 45, is leaving the BBC after six years at BBC Breakfast. He said it was a “massive decision” but Channel 5 will “bring bigger opportunities”.

He said on a video posted on Twitter: "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.

"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.

"I've also had the incredible privilege of working on some iconic programmes over the last few years, both at the BBC and elsewhere.

"And 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."

You can see Dan on Channel 5 from tonight at 5pm alongside Claudia-Liza Vanderpuije.

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  • Dan Walker
  • BBC Breakfast

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