‘I understand people don’t feel comfortable’ Dan Walker weighs in on BBC licence fee row

Earlier this year, Dan Walker made the move from BBC to Channel 5 in a new role hosting several programmes across the platform. Many have questioned his decision to leave BBC Breakfast after seven years, but Dan has since quashed the idea the BBC licensing fee debate was a contributing factor.

The BBC licence fee is an annual payment which is currently set at £159 and normally changes on April 1 each year.

However, it is expected to be frozen for two years until April 2024, at which point it is speculated the fee will be axed.

There has been an ongoing conversation for and against the fee, with many comparing the BBC to Netflix and arguing they should be able to pick and choose which channels they consume.

Dan presented his first News at 5 on June 6 and drew in a staggering 390,000 viewers to watch his debut.

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He recently opened up about his decision to move to Channel 5 and admitted the licence fee had nothing to do with his departure.

Dan told Radio Times: “Scrutiny comes with the job and particularly now because of the discussions in Parliament and the wider community about the licence fee.

“There is a debate about how the BBC is funded in future, I get that. I understand that some people don’t feel comfortable with that level of scrutiny, but that wasn’t part of my decision to leave. It was just an exciting opportunity.”

Dan also touched on the backlash BBC has received from viewers as they have slammed the content which is presented on the show.

Dan’s first day may have been successful but has since taken a nose dive, with the viewers dropping by almost half.

His first day on the job was the same day as the vote of confidence against Boris Johnson, where all broadcasters had a higher rating than usual.

BBC’s ratings have remained stable since Dan’s departure as the new programme hit a peak of 1.5 million over the last couple of weekends.

Since he announced his departure, talk began to circle about his new salary over at Channel 5, but the presenter has recently addressed this.

He told the Daily Mail Weekend magazine: “I hate talking about money. I feel uncomfortable that I get paid a lot to do a job I love.

“I remember the first day a national newspaper published what I earned on the front page. That was awful.

“I am embarrassed by the amount I earn. My parents had no money growing up. All my clothes were hand-me-downs.

“At a time when people are struggling to put food on the table, it’s horrible to have your salary on the front page.”

Dan Walker’s full interview is available to read over on www.radiotimes.com

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