Dan Walker, the creationist sports presenter replacing Bill Turnbull on BBC Breakfast

Turnbull is leaving after 15 years to look after his bees 

Heather Saul
Thursday 11 February 2016 14:34
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Dan Walker has been announced as the man to replace the veteran BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull, who leaves the corporation's flagship show after 15 years.

Walker, who currently hosts Afternoon Edition on BBC Radio 5 Live and Football Focus on BBC One, said he was “thrilled” to join the BBC's daily morning news programme.

Walker will take Turnbull's place on the BBC breakfast sofa Monday to Wednesday, alongside Louise Minchin for the 6am show.

Who is he?

Walker, 38, began his career in journalism on Sheffield's Hallam FM Radio. He then worked on Manchester’s KEY103 radio station, Granada TV and BBC North West Tonight before joining the BBC Sports team as a journalist and presenter.

He is already based in Salford, where BBC Breakfast is filmed and has no qualms about the painful 3.30am starts - but don’t expect to see him working on a Sunday. A report by The Times claims the father-of-three is a creationist and asks for Sundays off to practice his faith. A “senior BBC figure” quoted in the piece also questioned whether this could “create difficulties” with maintaining objectivity on some stories: “Say they have a story about an exciting new dinosaur fossil. How is he going to square a fossil that is 75,000 years old with his belief that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old?”

However, the BBC insists Walker's religious beliefs would not impact upon his objectivity. “A presenter’s own personal political or religious beliefs are irrelevant to their ability to do their job professionally,” a BBC spokesman said. “Dan has worked across both news and sport at the BBC for many years, interviewing guests on a wide range of topics. There is no reason for this to be any different now he is working for BBCBreakfast.”

When does he start?

Turnbull's last day will be on 26 February and Walker will officially replace him on 29 February.

Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty will continue to present the programme throughout the rest of the week.

Additional reporting by PA

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