Dan Walker reveals he used to ‘cry in the toilets’ by BBC Breakfast's demanding early starts

Dan Walker has discussed the “emotional” toll BBC Breakfast’s demanding schedule had on him, revealing the early morning starts would bring him to tears.

The broadcaster left the BBC show in 2022 after six years to pursue an evening news role at Channel 5, but has now returned to morning presenting with Classic FM.

Recalling his former 3am starts, the TV presenter admitted that he battled sleep deprivation so greatly, he felt like a “zombie”.

However, since transitioning to his new role on radio, he's grateful for the chance to sleep in until 5:30 am, providing some much-needed rest and balance to his routine.

Speaking about his new hours, he told Dermot O’Leary and Josie Gibson on Thursday’s This Morning: “I feel great. I feel refreshed.”

Revealing that it wasn’t always that way, he said about working at the BBC: “By Wednesday, I was like, full zombie mode.

Walker fronted BBC Breakfast with Sally Nugent until 2022 (PA Media)
Walker fronted BBC Breakfast with Sally Nugent until 2022 (PA Media)

“You get really emotional... end of the show, you’re like in the toilets just crying.

“Anything sends you over the edge, someone says something nice about your trousers, you’re like ‘oh so kind of you,’” he said and pretended to mock cried.

Gibson pushed him about crying in the toilets, to which he replied, “Not everyday – don’t build it up too much.”

But he levelled “When you are sleep deprived you do get a bit emotional.”

Last month, it was announced that Walker would replace Tim Lihoreau on Classic FM after almost 12 years in December.

Walker, who is known for his television presenting work, including Channel 5's Vanished: The Hunt For Britain’s Missing People, started his career on radio.

He had work experience at Hallam FM before getting a full time job at Key 103 in 1999.

His unexpected signing is part of a new schedule for Classic FM in 2024 with more details to be announced in the next few days.

The station recently switched from DAB to DAB+ on the national Digital One multiplex too.

Walker will continue his work with Channel 5 news.

Last February he hit the headlines after getting hit by a car while cycling.