Dan Walker was absent from BBC Breakfast this morning, a week after announcing he was quitting to move to Channel 5 — and has tweeted that the show is "trying their best to allow him to make a dignified departure".
The popular morning news anchor was missing from his usual spot on the sofa next to co-host Sally Nugent on Monday morning, with Jon Kay filling in for him.
Walker usually leads the show with Nugent from Monday to Wednesday, but last week announced that he had been offered an exciting new role at Channel 5 presenting their news bulletins, as well as other programmes for the broadcaster.
His absence on Monday was unexplained, but during the show Walker tweeted to clarify that there was no murky secret story to why he was leaving the BBC.
He wrote: "It is often the case that the simple truth is much duller than all the made-up ‘moles’ and so-called ‘sources’ claim.
Watch: Dan Walker gets emotional on the Breakfast sofa as he talks departure to 5 News
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"In a nutshell… a bloke with a really good job, which he loved, got offered a really good job somewhere else which provided an amazing new challenge and the chance to make some exciting TV.
"The bloke explained to his current employers that, even though it was a tough decision, he had decided to leave. They are now trying their best to allow him to make a dignified departure.
"Have a great Monday. I’m off for some toast."
Thank you for all your kind comments.
Big decision for me to leave Breakfast but I’m really excited to join 5 News & Channel 5.
It’s been a privilege to work with some amazing people at Breakfast and I’ve had such a happy 6 years there.
See you back on the sofa tomorrow 👍🏻 pic.twitter.com/haieEpiZSD
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) April 4, 2022
Dad-of-three Walker's time off also coincides with the school Easter holidays, which has seen Holly Willoughby take time off from her role hosting This Morning at ITV for two weeks, although the reason for Walker being off air has not been explained.
When he announced his BBC exit last week, Walker said that his final day in his old job would be "in the next few weeks".
He said of his Channel 5 offer: "I love their ideas and creativity and it’s rare to get an opportunity like this where paths and ambitions meet. The chance to do something different was too good to turn down."
Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Walker added: "Channel 5 came with big ambitions, big plans and I don’t think opportunities like this come around very often and I can’t wait.
"I’m really excited but this has also been a massive decision for me because I love Breakfast, I love working alongside Sally (Nugent) and I love the team there."