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Reporting on the Royals…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 hello this we are talking to Dan Walker he makes his move from BBC Breakfast TV to Channel 5 drivetime use what made him go and as the big broadcasters Gear up for the Jubilee celebrations will be finding out like to cover the royal family with the BBC's Johnny diamond and ITV's Chris ship and asking is there any Roman reporting for criticism should there be Laura Clancy author of running the family firm is also here, but will start with Dan Walker one of the big Beasts of breakfast TV he spent 6 years fronting the nations most popular early morning television show those 3 a.m.

Alarms must feel like just a bad dream now because on Monday he starts his new role at Channel 5 Dan welcome to the program.

I guess the obvious question is why did you decide to make the move?

Nothing to do with a 3 start even though I stop doing breakfast now for a couple of weeks.

I am still waking up occasionally that time in the morning thanks.

Just if I'm honest he just opportunity I think Channel 5 came and had a chat and sort of said in the nicest possible way.

We want you and don't want you to just do the news with a to come and have a set number of hours every year contract to come and make TV for us and I've got a creative rolling coming up with that TV is you speak to a lot of people who work in television on this program and everybody who works in TV and probably listen to this will know that those opportunities.

Don't come around very often so at the BBC the BBC One offering you something like that of me going to BBC and saying this this what have you got and I never did that would be really open and honest with the BBC In Our Time

Really, I just felt that there are opportunities at Channel 5 and maybe I wouldn't have got at the BBC and I think it's also a really interesting time in history January and Channel 5 is a fascinating place to be at the minute.

I think they make some great programs.

I think there's not many commissioning a most of their commissions recently been brilliant shows who doesn't want to get the chance to work when I say rice works at all.

I just you were reported to be on just under £300,000 a year for your BBC work.

I'm assuming Channel 5 or would you quite a good deal to what extent did money clipart brutally honest about that money has never ever been a motivating factor for me at any point in my career had 2 degrees out a 2:1 in.

I had a first in broadcast journalism and I was working at commercial radio station in Manchester turning under £8,000 working 18 to 20 hour shift today on occasions after 6-months.

I got promoted to be sports editor day working exactly the same number of hours with two people working and I think my pay when up to just over £8,000 so if I was motivated by money.

I would have left a long time ago the jobs like that, but I love the job.

I love the opportunity.

It's always been a real privilege me to work in this industry and I don't take it for granted and I'm really thankful to get the chance if I do get I hate talking about money and there's nothing more embarrassing than your salary whether it's right or wrong being on the front page of the national newspaper BBC

Half years and I think the not because of me, but it's just the sort of nature of the industry.

I think that job now is so much bigger than when I started it.

I mean now.

There's a huge independent outside process to find whoever replacement breakfast when I started that you're I think I turned it down a couple of times for reasons.

I can't quite explain to you.

I don't know why I was asked to go and sit in the studio for a couple of days ago.

I did and I started the job.

I think two weeks after that.

I think the screws me on TV news, Now is so much more and more and more accepting it has been before and that job is a really big job you speak to politicians everyday you speak to the prime minister regularly you talking to opinion formers safe in your makers everyday on that show and it's a really significant role.

That's great for breakfast TV but I done it for a long time and I love a new challenge.

Learn to dance last year, so when you thought about what they ask you how does it work and then anytime you're probably thinking about you.

What is it going to do for me, but it might be for you.

I can answer all of those questions.

I said no to strictly four times now and keep asking.

I'm not getting a lesson one.

I've been talking about covid for 80 months and I just generally just having a bit of fun and not talking about death tolls and horrible stuff and also my kids who are 1412 and 11 male salmon down and said would like you to do Saturday mash-up and strictly please so.

That's one of the reasons why I signed up and I didn't have a strategy and I think know some people doing two programs like that.

I know that couple of weeks ago you talking about reality TV I think something will do going to programs like that and I think what's the job I can get out of this.

Can I find a partner want to become more famous famous fortune And Frost and all those other things have never ever motivated me.

I just went in to have a bit of fun.

I got on really well with my partner and I learnt a lot about her about myself and I learnt how to do a foxtrot so it was a useful stuff.

Ok, let's come onto your new show then you know your co presenting the news at 5 p.m.

On Channel 5 my back in a day channel 5 news for people on enough to remember with the innovating young presenting sitting on the desk.

Can you give us a sense of you whether you've got what your innovation? Is there a Dan Walker way of doing news news?

Make it not about you fundamental belief that is essential and students or school kids about getting into the industry.

I try make a point of saying that I've spent a lot of my life trying to get out of the way of the story and I think there's this session and a really interesting and a good interest in the way that we do news at the moment in this country and I think one of the scale there is the the cold hard facts and I'm going to present a bit like a robot and the other end is watch my program because I've got loads of massive opinions and your care about and I think in the middle is suppose the best way of saying is is news with Feeling where by you're not presenting in a vacuum you're not dancing on your own opinion, but who cares about what I think but you're doing it away which is in connection with your audience and you understand who they are and what they going through and

Go back to the stories.

You're talking about have on their lives and I think you can connect with your audience in a really special way if you do that properly and that's what I've always tried to do both at breakfast and before that and that's why I will try and bring to an already well.

I'll programmer Channel 5 so I think they do connect the audience really well and that that's what I do that.

There is a news.

That's it.

Do you worry nicest possible way, I'm going to say this it makes you the kind of bland slightly inoffensive choice so in the middle that kind of third way of news the appeal of the straight white male never even considered that all I'm all I'm trying to do is be as genuine as I can and do the best job that I can and work hard to try and make great TV and thanks later those doors have kept opening to me even though I said no to the enjoy enjoyed it doing and I think he is always try and make sure that.

Start work on the best fun to be a part of and if you go and ask anybody died at work with and if you ask them where they think I'm Bland and boring that I'm not sure they do with your style and breakfast.

You just talking about opinionated journalism at one end of the scale.

That's not you your style on breakfast was clearly very different Piers Morgan's he was a regular going head-to-head with you ITV Good Morning Britain and there was rivalry there a Morgan said recently Dan who when he was asked about your decision to leave the BBC you've both now left for new Ventures and we actually spoke Piers Morgan on the eve of his Talk TV launch.

Let me headlines around that so obviously since then I've been about the audience numbers and I wondered if you have any advice for Piers Morgan a very good what does and I've always said that about him and what he is.

Gently toss the insults around and the last few years.

I've always said that good Morning Britain a bit of great job when he was there.

It's been brilliant to see Susanna Reid's journalism in recent weeks.

I think you know the into should be the prime minister with brilliant been good to see bit more of her that he's struggling a new channel that I wish I wish I wish you all the very best of that.

I think it's a big change for him, but he is very good at what he does and stuff when Carol Kirkwood 72 m and 2 million viewers last year when you were there.

Are you moving to Channel 5 and a slot which is you know much much less popular at the moment and that you know probably a quarter of that audience so you're facing similar things I guess the Piers Morgan in terms of that shift.

Why would you move because I like a challenge? I think what channel 5 at the minute is a really good program.

A caiman supposed to say headhunted me for one of the best phrase and I know that I can go there and I can pull my full Enthusiasm years of experience into that program and hopefully we'll get some more viewers want to make it appointment to watch TV in.

Oh, it's on before 6 news is on before ITN it's a time when probably some breakfast in terms of audience.

I think the up those numbers so want to make it the best program that we can make it and I think have you met the team have it might be a better having you as well.

There will be presenting it with I think we've got all the elements to make it a really I'm looking forward to starting great and I got to ask you because you are just the latest of the BBC presenter Talent to be leaving the BBC as you as well College Emily maitlis, Jon Sopel and

He said he wanted to get his voice back by leaving the BBC now that you're off the leash, what is it that you really want to say looking forward to more than 4 hours sleep but nothing but nice things to say about BBC you.

I don't know I don't feel like I've got anything to shout about I'm not going to sort of be released and under at the BBC don't exist I've never been told what not to say or what to say or what to ask you no don't don't have to Prime Minister that that's never happened in my many years BBC BBC get me out of jail on a case.

I've been chased down a train in China by some police officers when I was throwing a documentary many years ago and the only thing that stops me and then.

Play to going to jail for the night was on BBC car because you see those letters and I mean something all around the world and I think now that the BBC does need to change.

It's a big old beast sometimes slow to do things I know we're going to talk about royal coverage.

I think there are certain things that BBC can do differently and improving a new market, but it still does a lot of things brilliantly and there are some wonderful people that work then whether it was Sport or breakfast or quizzes or strictly.

I've had the privilege of working with some of the best in the industry and it's not over my Bridges are not been burnt at the BBC I hope to work then again fantastic will Dan Walker thank you.

Daniel be on Channel 5 at 5 p.m.

Weekdays from Monday the June 6th.

Don't go away though, because I want this down the subjective news and with the Jubilee taking centre Stage from any other broadcasters specifically royal knees and how it's covered Chris ship is the Royal editor for ITV News Johnny Depp

What is the BBC royal Correspondents and Laura Clancy author of running the family firm is also here.

There is also a lecturer in media and Sociology at Lancaster University and Johnny have you been brilliant people in the BBC let's come to you first you know you've been a Washington correspondent you been a Europe correspondent.

You know a royal correspondent.

Is it the same job in terms of how you do it? I think the core of it is just about the same.

You know it's about finding stuff out and selling it in contacts and explore and doing that an interesting way and it has the great advantage of being full of colour and history and so doing it an interesting ways easier than an industrial dispute on the west bank interesting so much of it is very different actually from anything I've done.

It is it is I think of it's kind largely because it is so mediated is so better word trolled by the palace because of their effective Monopoly on information.

No other job work that no other breathe has that Monopoly junior Monopoly an operation, so that makes it very different at actually so the core is about the same but the reality is very different sorry.

How do they control it wouldn't what do you mean by that? How does it work partly because of the public private nature of the story and the tension between those two which is essentially that most of the institutional staff to.

Even ceremonial staff is colourful, but it's not in itself interesting.

It's actually quite dull what is interesting audience is the personal star and there is no deal at different degrees in Royal coverage, which is you celebrate of ankle and you debts if not favourable coverage you get more coverage than you would do any of The Corrs out there or or any other body and that's just part of it being the Royal story so that is 1 degree of control the other is nearly everything they do they inform you through their own sauce and that's awesome quite happily same whether it's affecting a press office or a private and that's the big difference is the stuff we are interested in there are very easy and able say that's price private.

Let me bring you anywhere you cover politics.

Previous roles of 20 + people all vying to be your source how close to war Stories can you ever get more than 20 people it's a 650 MPs to talk to you my special advisers who wants your ear to bend you know to tell you the story the difference of time moving from teaching to Royal is those sources of much more limited and the information they give you is much more limited.

So your job really I supposed to put those tiny bits of information together with within your experience of doing the job for the past however many years and then make a decision make a call say what you think is happening say what you think will happen and I think that's the that the main the job with the challenges getting as many different sources as you possibly can in all the different palaces to speak to you as frequently as possible and that's kind of easier said than done.

Let me just

Do you think there's space for criticism in reporting or to your mine? Is it all a bit deferential and unquestioning? I don't think that specify individual journalists.

I agree.

We got instead around the structures that built in so I think the rotor system for example that gives access to particular types of journalist.

Do you need to apply to the limits made independent access to the stories and interviews and some respondents and they were you know if your reindeers or you're going to get some people who might not be.

What do you think about? That is not the case you feel BBC another the big players are not saying another big player but you know what I mean.


They get better access and also you know where do you stand on putting a critical voice in would you put a Republican voice in?

Packages play nothing probably worryingly for the to the institution of monarchy or the firm is Megan famously called it in her Oprah interview.

It is that young people have as much likely to support public in the elected head of state as they are to support the monarchy 33% for one another look at some of the stories in recent years Prince Andrew will be what happened a yes.

We work will be critical of the royal family when Megan said that she was driven to suicide will be critical with the Duke of Edinburgh when he crashed his car.

You know it is late.

90s it is I think there is a place to criticism we do criticise where it is needed, but I think a lot of the time royal stories are generally.

Play more upbeat sometimes our editors want them in the bulletin because they are you know they lift the bulletin sometimes.

I think that's quite important to get the right mix it inability yes, and I think that has to go in there and I think we have a good 20 or 30% of the country.

Won us to have an elected head of state not have a monarch.

Would you say there's a difference between individual and criticism of individuals within the royal family and then criticism of the institutions.

Yeah absolutely I think I'm kind.

I wouldn't do that then standing in the system talking openly about even talking open about what republicanism might look like for example.

We never really see that talking about and I'm interested in the value of the corresponding you've got the political correspondent.

You got a real corresponding and how that might.

A type of value and can put that might do that Republic imagination in terms of kind of what kind of music is life expectancy of a new as the BBC voice do you think the BBC has a very distinct relationship with the royals? What are the BBC day to be honest BBC News is a relationship with the royals is base.

I think logically on audience which we have a very big audience and that makes the BBC a good place to stories for the other plants the BBC about too much because I work BBC News NI don't know then as well as I know it's like BBC events and people make the documentaries.

They have a very long standing relationship with the royals it gives them privileged access.

You know anyone who does any kind of deal with the Royals and Times of broadcast and get some kind of privilege and generally give something back in return does that mean it does that mean difficult to put a critical voice in then? No because no because documentary like I'm seeing if you haven't seen it gorgeous.

I'm not a big one anybody else will be conditions attached with the royal family and that's the deal.

They're able to strike with news that is different than we broadly share my cereal with people like Chris and organisations like ITV news and we don't get to the favours in that front and that means we can be.

Laura I think you've got you make a very good point.

I think part of the problem is the age of the affection of the sovereign.

I think part of the problem.

Is there as Chris said it's not big story and it's seen as I said happy end point for a lot of bulletins particularly TV and I think the problem is a classification problem which is if you are I totally get this if you have a problem, can you see nearly every royal story as a political story and you think where is the council voice actually? I think most sports stories.

We don't go out and do stories about how most people don't care about the World Cup lots of people don't care about the World Cup we just cover it for me as a structural all-in-one various royals on breakfast.

How do you view the line the BBC impacts on the broadcasters walk when it comes to covering the royal family documentaries that was talking about that.

I've spent time with Prince William on a documentary about mental health and I was able to talk to him before the documentary went out and nothing was this and we spoke about his mum and how that affected his mental health and he was talking with Gareth Southgate with a Thierry Henry with Peter crouch's number brother footballers as well addition to some other individuals who have struggled with mental health and also covered lot of real stories jubilees and various members of the royal family as well the one thing that I often think about is is the issue with of balance and listen to it.

Johnny said there about the wake of sport and that's a really good point but I think sometimes for example in my old.

BBC Breakfast we would regularly practise for a category 1 death in a you do the procedure to make sure that once that happens and that'll be like Prince Charles the queen of the Queen Mother before she passed away in the Duke of Edinburgh sometimes practise, and I would always say once we did those practises that I felt we go too far on the the tone.

You have to speak incredibly slowly and you have to be to more deferential then.

I think you need that sometimes told to be and I feel you could not know that story is difficult to talk about this sad is of national international important without going too far and when the Duke of Edinburgh did die I do think that the BBC did make a mistake in putting the same outfit on BBC One on BBC2 because you can't force grief.

Report on it like Johnny saying but you can't make everybody feel the same way because some people don't feel that way about the royal family.

I think that's important ok and just Chris ship bring you in for the end.

You know there was this country by your colleague Tom bradby.

Harry and Meghan an African journey.

It showed that all wasn't well with the sussex's know they spoke about their mental health struggles such as a message was not ok with you that made news around the world and I wondered what the consequences for ITV best and what he was saying earlier.

Just about you know reflecting that particular side of the story.

I don't think they can be consequences when actually what you recorded What tongue uncovered in that documentary.

I was doing the news every day working alongside him uncovered was the all was not well with the sussex's inside the royal family what happened with that turned out to be very true the couple of months.

They do they went to Canada a few months so few weeks after that.

They said they wanted out and then you know the rest is history and then I live in California and I think they're coming back.

Instantly for the Queen's Jubilee which makes that's a new story again because the first time I've been in the UK in a public appearance since they left so I don't think they can be consequences of what you're telling us the truth if we are reflecting as best.

We can the truth which is our job as journalists, then I think we shouldn't worry about consequences if there are if they do come for whatever reason then so be it because job is to tell the truth as best we can and indeed you are all doing that and will continue to do that.

I'm sure particularly through this long weekend of Jubilee coverage.

Thank you so much.

See you all.

I'm afraid that is all.

I actually have time for short people will be looking forward to the cafe eating at that's coming up Dan Walker good luck on Channel 5 on the programme Jonny dymond BBC royal correspondent Laura can see lecturer in media and Sociology at Lancaster University the meteor shower will be back at the same time next week but for now.

Thank you so much.

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