Dan Walker, 43, has addressed the criticism he received for his interview with Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier this year, where he quizzed him about his plans for the country after he won the general election in January. But the live BBC Breakfast interview, which took place at the iconic Number 10, received a sufficient amount of criticism from viewers, who thought he went “too easy” on the Conservative Party leader.
I’m very proud of that interview
Speaking exclusive to the Radio Times, Dan spoke about the negative reviews but maintained he is “very proud” of the interview.
“There’s always a bit of that… ‘He does Football Focus, why is he interviewing the Prime Minister?’” he explained of his peers.
“I have an understanding of what our viewers want. I don’t want you talking about me at the end of it. I’m not going to berate him.
He made it clear that he wanted viewers to “form their own opinion” of the PM after listening to what he had to say, insisting he pressed him on all sorts of issues, where he also told him he was “making up policy live on-air”.
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“I’m very proud of that interview,” he said.
Dan began by grilling Mr Johnson on the situation in Iran following the death of General Soleimani, where the PM had been widely criticised for being on holiday.
During the half-hour slot, the BBC host had to work hard to keep his interviewee on track and get through the important questions the public wanted to know.
At one point, he was forced to stop him in order to move on, but it seems the whole interview has angered viewers.
After the interview, he took to Twitter to thank those who praised the conversation while taking a dig at those who critiqued it, saying: “Glad so many fo you enjoyed our #BBCBreakfast exclusive with the PM yesterday,” he wrote.
“I fundamentally believe in being fair, polite and robust with every guest. Ranting helps no one. I want you to listen to THEM not me. You can ‘speak’ truth to power… you don’t have to ‘shout’ it.
Fans rushed to comment on the post, as one person applauded: “Brilliant interview.”
Another person commented: “Admire your manners and your honesty, Dan.”
While a third person added: “Big and a welcome change from interviewers who want to make it all about them and constantly interrupt.”
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But while there were plenty of people sang Dan’s praises, he found himself defending his honour once again when one fan knocked his light-hearted final question.
The viewer wrote: “Britain today: NHS waiting times are causing glaucoma patients to go blind, millions of children living in poverty, rough sleeping still on the increase, economy on its a**e, high street at its worse since 1995. BBC, ‘Are you going vegan Mr Johnson?’”
Dan swiftly responded to the critic, and replied: “Did you actually watch Ben? That question (light & shade) came at the end of a 30 minute interview which covered… Iran, Royals, Brexit, trade agreements, NHS, social care, promises to the north, Flybe, Harry Dunne, Huawei, Russian interference #Agenda.”
Among those who instantly bashed the Football Focus presenter was BBC’s rival breakfast show host Piers Morgan, who slammed it a “soft-paddle interview” and an “easy ride”.
It’s not news to anyone that Dan and the Good Morning Britain host frequently engage in heated spats with each other on Twitter, where Piers once described his nemesis as “the dullest, most excruciatingly virtue-signalling, tediously opinion-devoid, toe-curlingly snivelling sycophant on TV”.
Dan Walker’s full interview is available now in the Radio Times [RADIO TIMES]
But it seems it’s all for show, as he revealed that he was invited to Piers’ 50th birthday party.
“I’ve met Piers a few times,” he told Radio Times,
“We’ve played golf, and I went to his 50th birthday party about 25 years ago,” he teased, as his nemesis is actually only 54.
“I like Piers. He’s a very good broadcaster and they do a great job on GMB. Calling me a ‘snivelling sycophant’… That’s the way he operates.”
This certainly makes a difference as to how we view their heated disagreements from now on, whether Piers will be that honest about their friendship we don’t know, but it seems it’s all done in jest!
BBC Breakfast returns this morning at 6am on BBC One.
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