Dan Walker says BBC was ‘rightly’ criticised over coverage of Prince Philip’s death

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

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Prince Philip: Royal family pays tribute on anniversary of death

Dan Walker has said that the BBC was “rightly” criticised over its coverage of the late Prince Philip ‘s death last year, with him saying that you “can’t force grief upon a nation”.

The newsreader, 45, has said that the broadcaster made a mistake by putting the same output on BBC One and BBC Two following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh last April.

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.”

Dan Walker spoke about the BBC’s handling of royal deaths on a recent podcast


Ian West/PA Wire)

He shared his thoughts on the BBC’s highly-criticised coverage of Prince Philip’s death


Dave Benett/Getty Images)

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.”

Dan – who has left the BBC to move to Channel 5 – spoke about the coverage whilst on BBC Radio 4 ‘s The Media Show this week, ahead of the Queen ‘s Platinum Jubilee.

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.

The BBC had received numerous complaints over its coverage of Prince Philip’s death last year


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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 said at the time that schedule changes in the wake of Prince Philip’s death had been made with ‘careful consideration’


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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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