February 9, 2023

‘You can’t force grief on a nation’: Former BBC presenter Dan Walker says company made a ‘mistake’ with general coverage of Prince Philip’s death

  • The former BBC presenter criticized identical programs on BBC1 and BBC2
  • He added that it’s important not to “go too far” in stories that are “difficult” and “sad.”
  • He will start a new job as a news presenter for Channel 5 next week

Dan Walker has said the BBC made a ‘mistake’ in the way it covered the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, declaring that ‘you can’t force grief on a nation’.

The former BBC Breakfast presenter said it made a mistake by broadcasting the same output about Prince Philip’s death on BBC1 and BBC2 simultaneously.

BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond also suggested that most of the events surrounding the royal family were ‘colorful’, but ‘actually rather dull’.

Dan Walker, a much-loved BBC Breakfast presenter, said the BBC made a ‘mistake’ by broadcasting the same programming on two channels at once after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh

Mr Walker said you “can’t force grief on a nation.” Pictured with BBC Breakfast co-host Naga Munchetty

The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral was one of the most important moments in recent royal history

The pair were on Radio 4’s The Media Show this week to discuss royal coverage. Mr Walker, 45, who will start his new job as Channel 5 news presenter next week, said that while rehearsing coverage of royal deaths at the BBC, he suggested the tone went ‘too far’ to be reverent.

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He said: ‘I feel that you can of course show that a story is difficult to discuss, is sad, is of national, international importance, without going too far.’

Referring to the double coverage of Prince Philip’s death last year, he admitted the BBC was “justifiably” criticized for this, adding: “I think that’s where the balance should have been.” He said, ‘Because you cannot force sorrow on a nation. You can report on it… but you can’t make everyone feel the same.”

The BBC received many complaints about the amount of coverage of Prince Philip’s death in April last year. It said it had not made any changes to the schedule “without careful consideration.”