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  • Dan Walker to become the new face of BBC Breakfast – but he won't work on Sundays

    Sports presenter Dan Walker has been announced as the new co-presenter of BBC Breakfast.

    He will replace Bill Turnbull who announced in September that, after 15 years, he was leaving the programme.

    The 38-year-old, who is the son of a Baptist preacher, has reportedly planned his career around his commitments as a Christian – including not working on Sundays.

    When he was younger, Walker dreamed of being a professional footballer, but turned down invitations from youth teams of major clubs because they played their matches on Sundays.

    And when he became a TV presenter, fronting various sporting events and hosting BBC1’s Football Focus, he struck a deal with bosses that he would never have to work on the Sabbath.

    He said in 2010: “I was convinced that it was the right thing to honour God and follow his commandments. Observing the Lord’s Day is a great privilege and brings with it loads of blessings.”

    Walker, who grew up in Crawley, West Sussex, became devout when he was 12 and he says his refusal to work on Sundays has made his job as a football presenter difficult.

    He said some interviewers thought he was stupid and others felt sorry for him.

    Now the married father of three will take a seat on the BBC Breakfast red sofa alongside Louise Minchin for three days a week – Monday to Wednesday.

    The show has an average of six million viewers each morning.

    He told the Daily Mail he was thrilled to be joining the team.

    “I have watched the show avidly over the years and am even looking forward to setting my alarm clock and doing what I can to make it even more successful,” said Walker.

    “It is an honour to be given this opportunity and to follow in the footsteps of someone like Bill Turnbull. The man has significant shoes to fill, so I hope I can do as good a job as he did waking up the nation.”

    Walker will continue presenting Football Focus but will give up his four-days-a-week Afternoon Edition show on Radio 5 Live.

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