BBC BLOGS - Dan Walker

Snow sparks Sheffield shiner memories

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Dan Walker | 14:10 UK time, Monday, 21 January 2013

Hello comrades. I hope you are enjoying the snow. We were worried that our Focus trip to West Ham was going to have to be cancelled on Saturday, but thankfully we all made it there and more than two million of you tuned in to watch, so thanks for that.

Martin Keown has had a coat specially lined for chilly outside broadcasts and our other guest - Dean Ashton - opted for the layers approach.

My hand got particularly cold during one chat with Sir Trevor Brooking and was shaking about all over the shop while clinging on to the microphone.

West Ham were great on the day, providing manager Sam Allardyce and Sir Trevor for live interviews, and they even gave me access to the remote control for the bubble machine which I did consider setting off midway through the first half but thought better of it.

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'And now, we go to hell' - Avram Grant

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Dan Walker | 13:17 UK time, Monday, 28 May 2012

You can hear Avram's Journey on BBC Radio 5 Live from 20:00 BST on Tuesday, 29 May.

Avram Grant's story is an incredible one. We know him as the quietly spoken man who took Chelsea to within a John Terry penalty of the Champions League title in 2008.

We know him as the boss at West Ham and the man who gave the passionate speech to Portsmouth fans on the brink of relegation and administration in 2010.

His own story - the son of a Polish Jew who married the daughter of an influential Iraqi lawyer who was forced to flee to Israel - is remarkable, but the history of his family is as rich as it is tragic, as heart-warming as it is heart-breaking and as inspiring as it is dark.

Grant was aware his father had survived the Holocaust, but knew very little of his previous life until an unforgettable night as a teenager in Tel Aviv.

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Football Focus wins royal seal of approval

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Dan Walker | 21:32 UK time, Thursday, 29 March 2012

"One doesn't address the Duke like that" was the phrase ringing around my head after the first time I met a member of the royal family.

I was giving a speech at St James's Palace to some Duke of Edinburgh gold award winners and the man himself turned up.

He moved around the room chatting occasionally and eventually approached us at the door. There was an awkward silence in the room, which was making me increasingly uncomfortable. When he got to me and extended his right arm for a shake I exclaimed "morning chief".

"And what is it you do?" came the friendly response.

What followed was a 90-second conversation that ended with him declining my offer to come on the Football Focus sofa the following Saturday. The Duke departed, an aide gave me the evils and produced the phrase that started this blog.

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