As the BBC’s main breakfast TV anchor, Dan Walker is expected to be open and transparent. So colleagues on the morning show are curious why he has been so determined to deny reports that he regularly gets expensive taxis to and from work.
The 44-year-old angrily denied a report in a Sunday tabloid newspaper last year that he used BBC licence payers’ money for the £200-a-time round trip from his Sheffield home to the Manchester studios.
Taking to Twitter, he rubbished the story as fake news and told the readers of another newspaper last week that he drives himself to work.
But evidence has now emerged that the £260,000-a-year BBC presenter does, in fact, regularly use licence fee-funded taxis.
Evidence has now emerged that the £260,000-a-year BBC presenter Dan Walker (pictured left with co-presenter Sally Nugent on BBC breakfast) does, in fact, regularly use licence fee-funded taxis, after denying the claims as fake news
Documents seen by The Mail on Sunday reveal he has been using the taxis since last November – and insiders at the BBC claim they have been used regularly for several years.
BBC rules state the Corporation should pick up the cost of his 3.45am journey from home to work. If Mr Walker was to use the taxis to and from all three of his weekly shows, it would cost around £600 per week or £31,000 per year.
Following the report in December 2019, he responded to a social media user who raised his taxi use, writing: ‘I suggest a New Year’s resolution to you... stop reading and believing rubbish newspapers.’
But documents from last November to as recently as last Tuesday show that in addition to his 3.45am pick-ups from home, which he gets on a minimum of two days a week, he is often picked up from Media City in Salford, where the BBC studio is based, at 9.30am for the return trip.
‘Many people in and around the show just can’t stand Dan’s hypocrisy, it has left a lot of his colleagues really cross,’ said an insider.
Four of Mr Walker’s colleagues also regularly use the taxis, including his co-presenter Louise Minchin, 52, who travels from her home in Chester to Salford in chauffeur-driven cars when she presents Breakfast.
A BBC spokesman yesterday insisted that presenters met their own taxi costs if they are used outside of the Corporation’s policy, but refused to say if any of them had reimbursed the money, or by how much.
BBC guidelines state management can authorise journeys outside the usual taxi policy or ask for a contribution to be paid. There is no suggestion that guidelines were breached.
The 44-year-old angrily denied a report in a Sunday tabloid newspaper last year that he used BBC licence payers’ money for the £200-a-time round trip from his Sheffield home to the Manchester studios (pictured)
Sports presenter Sally Nugent, 49, also uses the cars to and from her home, as does weather host Carol Kirkwood, 58. Presenter Naga Munchetty, 46, was last week seen being driven both ways from the five-star Dakota hotel in Manchester where rooms cost from £130 per night.
It is just five miles away from the studio. A BBC spokesman confirmed the Corporation paid for her accommodation.
The controversy comes as the BBC wrestles with a backlash over its decision to end free TV licences for the over-75s. Joe Ventre, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘All too often, the Beeb is caught splashing taxpayers’ cash on loaded luvvies.’
The BBC said: ‘These claims are wrong. Our presenters know our policies on travel and accommodation costs and anything outside of BBC policy is paid for by themselves.’