Dan Walker – who left BBC Breakfast recently – has spoken about the BBC’s highly-criticised coverage of Prince Philip’s death last year, saying that viewers ‘rightly’ criticised the broadcaster
The presenter – who left BBC Breakfast recently after six years as its co-host – said that the BBC had been “rightly” criticised for the decision, with him promoting “balance”.
Discussing the coverage – which led to more than 100,000 complaints – he said: “That’s where the balance should have come in because you can’t force grief upon a nation.”
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He added: “You can report on it […] but you can’t make everybody feel the same way. Some people don’t feel that way about the Royal Family. I think that’s important.”
During the episode, the presenter recalled practicising for the deaths of Royal Family members whilst working at the BBC, with him suggesting that the tone wasn’t right.
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Dan said that he had felt the broadcaster often went “too far” on the tone – such as speaking slowly – and being more “deferential” than he would have perhaps wanted.
He explained his view that you can “naturally show” that a story is “difficult to talk about” and of national importance “without going too far” in the way that it’s conveyed.
The BBC addressed criticism of its coverage over Prince Philip’s death last year, after it had cleared its schedules at the time to provide continual news about such.
The BBC received more than 100,000 complaints over its coverage, but said in its statement at the time that it was a “significant event” that had “generated a lot of interest”.
It acknowledged that some viewers were “unhappy with the level of coverage” and the impact on scheduling, but said that such changes were made with “careful consideration”.
The broadcaster had further commented: “The decisions made reflect the role the BBC plays as the national broadcaster, during moments of national significance.”
The Mirror approached the BBC over Dan’s comments.
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