Dan Walker squirmed when asked about his ‘£1.5 million salary’ at Channel 5 News, before insisting he’ll never reveal how much he earns.
The journalist, 45, made his debut on the progamme earlier this month, after leaving his anchoring role on BBC Breakfast, which he had held for six years.
He went on to admit he’ll ‘have more freedom to express an opinion’ at his new place of work but vowed not to ‘portray a persona like Piers Morgan’ because it would ‘feel very fake’.
‘This shouldn’t be about money!’ Dan Walker squirmed when quizzed about his ‘£1.5m salary’ at Channel 5 News before insisting he’ll NEVER reveal how much he earns (pictured in June 2022)
During an interview with The Times, the former Strictly star was asked about his reported earnings at the Viacom-owned channel but soon shut down the reporter.
He said: ‘I’ll answer anything, except about money. It really makes me laugh how you guys love to speculate and you always get it so wrong.’
Just moments earlier, he had insisted that he was happy to be asked ‘anything’ but soon said ‘this should never be about money’.
He continued: ‘Especially when people are struggling. Let’s just say I’m privileged to do this job. And I always get asked about how much I earn, but never how much I give away.’
Busy bee: The journalist, 45, made his debut on the progamme earlier this month, after leaving his anchoring role on BBC Breakfast, which he had held for six years
The Crawley-native butted heads with Piers numerous times over the years, who anchored BBC Breakast’s rival ITV programme Good Morning Britain until last year.
On changing his presenting style for Channel 5, Dan claimed he has ‘never dipped to Piers’ level of insults’ and could ‘never inhabit his persona ‘because he would feel very fake.’
He said: ‘I don’t need to do that sort of thing. When I first started at BBC Breakfast I met him at a function and he said, “You’re going to be terrible. We’re going to annihilate you.” But my attitude was to remain quietly confident.’
Dan marked his first day on his new Channel 5 job by appearing on Good Morning Britain in a brief appearance which saw him jokingly storm off the set.
Rivals: The Crawley-native butted heads with Piers numerous times over the years, who anchored Breakast’s rival ITV show, Good Morning Britain until last year (pictured in 2020)
He bid farewell to BBC Breakfast after six years at the helm and will begin his new role Channel 5’s evening bulleting with Claudia-Liza Vanderpuije at 5pm on Monday.
And Dan marked the first day of his new job with an appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Monday, where he spoke about leaving breakfast TV behind him.
But Dan was also quizzed about his TV rival and former GMB host Piers by Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley, and pretended to storm off the show in a lighthearted dig at the broadcaster, 57.
Susanna asked him: ‘Would you have come on this show when the former occupant of Richard’s seat was on? Could you and Piers Morgan be in a studio together?’
Jibe: Dan marked his first day on his new Channel 5 job by appearing on Good Morning Britain in a brief appearance which saw him jokingly storm off the set (pictured)
To which he replied: ‘Of course we could. You know what he’s like. He’s a troublemaker. But he’s good to spend time with.’
But at the end of the interview, Dan jokingly pretended to storm out of the studio, mirroring when Piers walked off set last year after a fierce debate with Alex Beresford.
Piers quit the show following his claims that he didn’t ‘believe a word’ Meghan Markle said during her Oprah Winfrey interview, leading to a tense exchange in which Alex accused Piers of unfairly ‘trashing’ Meghan, and branded him ‘diabolical’.
In a lighthearted jibe at the moment, Dan got up out of his seat with his cup of tea still in hand and walked off the set, before promoting his new show on the way out the door.
Tense: Piers quit as GMB host following his claims that he didn’t ‘believe a word’ Meghan Markle said, leading to a tense exchange with Alex which saw Piers (pictured) storm off
‘See you later, see you at 5 o’clock on Channel 5,’ he said.
Earlier in the interview, Dan had spoken about moving away from breakfast TV to his new evening presenting gig, and admitted he was still adjusting to not waking up in the middle of the night for work.
‘I’m still adjusting to normal hours, I’m still getting up in the middle of the night occasionally,’ he explained.
The former Strictly Come Dancing star said his favourite thing about working on BBC Breakfast was the people he got to work with, while the worst thing was talking about serious subject matter.
Tension: Dan was also quizzed about his TV rival and former GMB host Piers by Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley
‘The best thing is the people you get to work with, I love relationships in telly, you need to sit next to someone you like and support,’ he said.
‘The worst thing is those days where you have to talk about stuff that’s horrible.’
Following his appearance on GMB, which only saw him talk for a matter of minutes, viewers took to Twitter to describe it as the ‘shortest interview ever’.
One person commented: ‘They just literally gave Dan two minutes – bet he’s glad he got up early for that!’
While another confused viewer tweeted: ‘What happened to Dan Walker?’
Move: Earlier, Dan had spoken about moving away from breakfast TV to his new presenting gig, and admitted he was still adjusting to not waking up in the middle of the night for work
On Sunday, Dan took to social media to admit that he was beginning his Channel 5 job in a ‘strange way’ by first appearing as a guest on GMB.
He tweeted: ‘First day of my new TV life tomorrow and it will start in a very strange way… on @GMB.
‘See you in the morning with @susannareid100 (thankfully not too early) and than at 5, on 5 PS I still love you @sallynugent.’
Dan recently left BBC Breakfast to become the lead anchor on 5 News, which will see him reportedly pocket £1.5million to host it’s nightly news programme.
New job: The presenter, 45, bid farewell to BBC Breakfast after six years at the helm and will begin his new role Channel 5’s evening bulleting with Claudia-Liza Vanderpuije on Monday
He made the announcement last month on the Jeremy Vine Show and posted a short video to his Twitter with the caption: ‘Here we go. See you next Monday at 5, on 5.’
In the clip, Walker said: ‘It’s great to be joining Channel 5, but news is never about who sits in the chair. It’s the stories that matter most from a team you can trust.’
The star was one of the BBC’s highest-paid stars, earning £295,000 a year to host their Breakfast show.
As well as 5 News anchor, his role will include fronting a range of brand-new non-news programming for Channel 5 for the 5.2million viewers tuning in every week.
He will replace Sian Willams who decided to leave her daily news presenting role to take up ‘more wide-ranging opportunities’.
When Dan announced his decision to leave the BBC last month, he said: ‘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.
‘But 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.’
Presenter: The star was one of the BBC’s highest-paid stars, earning £295,000 a year to host their Breakfast show