BBC BLOGS - Dan Walker

Archives for September 2009

My route into the media

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Dan Walker | 15:12 UK time, Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Last week, I went to talk to a bunch of university students about life - and possible careers - at the BBC. They supplied the prawn vol-au-vents (not sandwiches if you're reading this, Roy) and I provided the insight into a career in the media... at least that's what it said on the flyer.

The truth is that there are many doors that give you access to the broadcasting castle.

Some people start early and work their way up, some go crazy with the qualifications and then there are those who have a slow-burning passion and eventually realise that any other job just isn't good enough.

I was one of the middle lot.

I wrote a letter to Des Lynam when I was 11 years old. I complemented him on his excellent moustache and asked him how to get his job.

To my surprise, he wrote back within a few days (it might have been his secretary, but I am convinced it was the man himself). Des told me to get through school, do my A-levels, go on to study something like History or English at university rather than Media Studies and then do a post-graduate course in journalism and get a job in local radio.

I didn't really think much about Des's advice until I got my first job after university. I wrote back to him to say thanks and tell him to 'watch his back'.

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Throwaway remark costs me dear

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Dan Walker | 10:24 UK time, Wednesday, 23 September 2009

I had a torrid weekend. What I thought was a throwaway comment on the Focus sofa has left me in all sorts of trouble with the family. Let me explain. After talking to Gary Speed and Lawro about the Sheffield derby, I then turned to Gary and uttered these words... "Well, good luck to Sheffield United for the rest of the season".

When I got home my wife - Yorkshire's finest and a Sheffield Wednesday fan - held her hands up and said "Good luck to Sheffield United?" I logged on to Facebook and there was Auntie Sally complaining that I had let down the family. My father-in-law has gone very quiet, my best mate from university is disgusted and I think Uncle Terry is planning revenge. I had forgotten how many of my inner circle are solid Hillsborough rock.

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Inside Eastlands - home of City's slickers

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Dan Walker | 14:24 UK time, Tuesday, 15 September 2009

I am a pretty bad packer at the best of times. I always leave it late and never take enough pants. When you also have two little girls - both in nappies - to get ready, deadlines get pushed.

Last Thursday, the plan was to drive to Sheffield, drop the family off with the in-laws and then head to Manchester first thing Friday morning to film for Focus and get ready for Saturday's show. When I got back from work at 6.30pm I already feared for our 8pm departure deadline seeing as my wife, Sarah, was sparked out on the sofa and neither of us had packed... shambles!

I lived in Manchester for about five years but the vagaries of the one-way system got the better of me again on my way to pick up Laura from Piccadilly station at 9am on Friday. Laura was the producer on what turned out to be a busy day...

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Brolly stunt leaves its mark

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Dan Walker | 12:59 UK time, Wednesday, 9 September 2009

What a great morning I had on Tuesday. While devouring a chocolate croissant in the Focus office, I had the privilege of John Motson, Steve Wilson and Jonathan Pearce chewing the football fat.

One of the things under discussion was JP's interview with Steve McClaren last week. For all the rights and wrongs of his England career, it was fascinating to hear Macca's take on it. I'm sure it won't be long before a club in England take a punt on him.

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The Bernabeu, Butragueno and me

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Dan Walker | 16:10 UK time, Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The last time I was in Madrid was April 2003. I was commentating on Manchester United's Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid. United played well but by the time Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored for the visitors they were already 3-0 down thanks to Raul and Figo. This week I returned to the Spanish capital to film a piece for Football Focus.

It's all about La Liga; its pulling power compared to the Premier League, the arrival of Kaka and Ronaldo, and the favourable tax situation over there. Did you know that from next April, anyone who earns over £150,000 in England will have to pay 50% tax? Footballers who play in Spain, on the other hand, pay half that. It's an attractive proposition if you are simply motivated by the size of your bank balance.

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