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MY WORK

This page is here to let you all know what I've been doing and am up to now, where I'm going and where you may be able to see me next.  


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Comic Relief 2019

Comic Relief 2019

At the end of February 2019 I was asked to be part of the Comic Relief ‘Return to Kilimanjaro’ Challenge, 10 years on from the first attempt to scale the heights of the mountain. Back in 2009 it was a team of celebs led by Gary Barlow and the 2019 version saw me thrown in with Jade and Leigh-Anne from Little Mix, Ed Balls, Xander Armstrong from Pointless, Countryfile’s Anita Rani, two time Superbowl champion Osi Umenyiora, Dani Dyer and head Strictly judge Shirley Ballas.

Most of us met at Nairobi airport for the first time and just 24 hours later we were climbing the tallest free standing mountain in the world. The next 10 days was the most incredible experience. I think the producers expected a few hissy fits, diva strops and general celeb fury, but what they got was 9 people who totally depended on each other and formed an unbreakable bond!

We were all told that, because there was such an age range and varying degrees of physical ability within the group, that there was ‘no way’ we would reach the top together. The fact that we managed to walk the final 100 yards to Uhuru Peak arm in arm will remain one of the proudest achievements of all our lives!

The whole crew were amazing to work with and it was a real privilege to be part of such a huge strand of the Comic Relief effort and to return home and then find out we’d managed to raise over £2.5 million was a truly humbling experience. I don’t think any of us underestimated the mountain but I don’t think we thought it would be so physically and mentally demanding.

My fellow climbers are an amazing group of humans:

Anita
So strong and helpful from day 1. Kind, considerate and a true friend. Anita really struggled early with the altitude but was always thinking of others and was just a wonderful part of the team.

Ed
A rock. A singer. A titan. Knowledgeable, funny and always trying to make our lives easier. A supreme intellect with the common touch. His determination on the final climb was inspiring to watch. Ed needs a talk show.

Xander
You rarely meet people who know so much but are able to share it with kindness, care and never even a hint of condescension. So talented, the ultimate story teller, warm, emotional and just a wonderful man to spend time with. I love him.

Dani
So funny, direct, disarming and refreshingly honest. Made us laugh every day and was always telling us how much she loved her family. She might have said ‘I can’t do this’ a few times but Dani proved she is so much stronger than she thinks she is.

Leigh-Anne
We all knew she was an international super star before we left but she showed us she was so wonderfully down to earth. Leigh was brilliant company, mucked in and we all think she might actually be Wonder Woman. She need to share her nachos knowledge with the world.

Osi
What a human. A leader, a motivator… a man who thinks deep but rises high. All his words carry weight and his speech to us on summit night was indescribably perfect. We all learnt so much from Osi.

Shirley
Such a special person. When Shirley spoke to us about her brother’s suicide her motivation became our motivation. She’s worked so hard her whole life and I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as determined as Shirl. I do need to improve my cape work though!

Jade
I can’t quite remember why we started walking together back on day 1 but it was the start of what I hope will be a lifelong friendship. She looked after me at my lowest ebb and lifted us all with her songs, sense of humour and magnificent snacks. Jade is the South Shields Queen and long may she reign.

We all said on our return that our mountaineering careers were over but we are really good friends and meet up regularly. It would be amazing to do something else for Comic Relief in the future. We are open to offers…



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Remembering the 10...

Remembering the 10...

On the first Wednesday of 2019 I was in a rush. I was walking our dog through Endcliffe Park in Sheffield and I saw an old man who looked cold - he was sweeping leaves. I was already late for work but I felt compelled to talk to him. 5 minutes later I had his phone number, address and perhaps the best story I have ever heard.

I checked out his story and within a few hours of putting it on social media his tale was travelling around the world - retweeted, shared and liked thousands and thousands of times.

Tony Foulds was an 8 year old boy playing in that park on the 22nd February 1944. An American bomber - with 1 failed engine - appeared over the houses and as the pilot apparently waved to get the children out of the way... Tony says the young lads waved back. 

With the 2nd engine stuttering the pilot Lt John Kriegshauser decided he only had one option. Instead of landing on the flat park and potentially killing many children... he and his 9 crew members tried to fly up over the cafe but they failed and crashed into a tree lined hill at the side of the park. All 10 of them died.

Tony has been wracked with guilt ever since. In 1953 he started laying flowers at the crash site as a 17 year old who finally started to understand the sacrifice that had been made for him and others. When a memorial was built in the late 1960s Tony took it upon himself to visit it regularly.  For many years he has been quietly tending and cleaning it.

Now at the age of 82 he spends 10 hours a week looking after the stones which mark the death of 10 men he never met... 10 men who gave their life for his... 10 men who has says he loves just as much as his own family.

After years of silent service Tony was ready to tell his story. All he wanted was a flypast to mark the 75th anniversary of the crash next month. Inspired, I foolishly told him to leave it with me.

What I have learned from the whole thing was the importance of listening to people. Allowing them to tell their stories.

Within 12 hours of meeting Tony - despite not having a single contact in the world of aviation - thanks to the magic of social media I’d spoken to 2 MPs, second in command at the RAF, a major in the US Air Force, the American ambassadors chief of staff, the deputy leader of Sheffield City Council and an old lady called Beryl who wanted to bake some cakes for the anniversary.

Within 24 hours Tony was on BBC Breakfast, the 1 o’clock news and he had crews from all over the world knocking on his door.  The council re- tarmacked the memorial steps, a local school crowd funded for a flagpole and on the 22nd of February,15000 stood in the park in Sheffield alongside Tony. Relatives of the US airmen who died were there too and the crowds cheered and cried as those planes flew overhead on the 75th anniversary of the crash.  Millions more watched live on the television.

All that came from a 5 minute conversation. It reminded me of the importance of being interested in the people around us. My favourite thing about Tony is that he has remained spectacularly Yorkshire throughout the whole experience. When he started getting loads of national attention he got home one night and a brand new black Mercedes was outside his house. The driver knocked on the door and said he was from This Morning. Holly Willoughby & Philip Schofield would love to have him on the show the following day.

“Who?” Tony said.

The guy repeated that it was for This Morningand that he would drive him down and they’d put him in a 5 star hotel. 

“Where?” said Tony

“London” said the driver

“That, there London?”Said Tony

“Gee or (how do you spell it) It’s Thursday... I’m having a full English wit the lads int market”

Yorkshire...This Morningwith Phil & Holly or a Full English with the lads? No contest.

 



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Football Focus on BBC1

Football Focus on BBC1

Tune in to Football Focus on Saturday 18th May at 1.00pm on BBC1 as we look ahead to the FA Cup Final.

You can also now catch Focus on iPlayer should you miss the show on Saturday.



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Chase the Case

Chase the Case

Five contestants, five cases (one containing £5000), one furious security guard, a funky studio and a massive hydraulic soundproof vault…

Join me on BBC 1 at 2.15pm from Monday 17th September 2018 for this new quiz show.



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BBC Breakfast

BBC Breakfast

Catch me on the BBC Breakfast red sofa Monday - Wednesday 6am - 9.15am



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World Cup 2018

World Cup 2018

Really enjoyed being part of the BBC team covering the World Cup in Russia this summer.

 Please take a moment to enjoy THIS  highlights video which hopefully gives a flavour of the competition.

‪We also had a borscht-off to see who can cook the best traditional soup. Upson cremated his onions & Alex Scott is a bit of a pro. Thanks to Galina for showing us how handle our beetroot. See the damage HERE



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Sport Relief 2018

Sport Relief 2018

Sport Relief 2018 Boat Race – The Battle of BBC and ITV.

Charlotte Hawkins was representing Good Morning Britain, while I was raising a banner for BBC Breakfast! Racing on the Manchester Ship Canal – a great day for a great cause which I particularly enjoyed as we were victorious!



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Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two

Strictly Come Dancing - It Takes Two

I make the occasional appearance on 'It Takes Two' during the Strictly season - I love joining the team for a good chat about all things Strictly!



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Match of the Day

Match of the Day

Watch this space for when I'll next be presenting MOTD...



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Rio Olympics 2016

Rio Olympics 2016

Totally loved presenting from the Olympics - it was an immense privilege to be part of the team in Rio and you can find out more about my time there on my blog  www.danwalker.tv/blog#entry2946



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Euro 2016

Euro 2016

Check out the photo blog covering my time away at the Euros in June www.danwalker.tv/blog#entry2950



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Sport Relief - Clash of the Titans

Sport Relief - Clash of the Titans

A highlight of the year so far was being involved in Sport Relief: Clash of the Titans from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Friday 18th March.  I was presenting alongside Ore Oduba, overseeing Sir Steve Redgrave and Freddie Flintoff and their teams as they went head to head in a number of crazy challenges!



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Countdown

Countdown

Always enjoy appearing on Countdown in Dictionary Corner with Susie Dent. Watch this space for details of my next appearance...



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Holiday of My Lifetime

Holiday of My Lifetime

I had immense fun as I reminisced with Len Goodman about one of my childhood holidays in Aberdeen in 1991. Enjoyed revisiting those shellsuits and travelling about in a lovely yellow VW bus!