Strictly Come Dancing 2021: Who is University of Sheffield alum Dan Walker?

Dan Walker was announced as the latest contestant to join this year’s Strictly Come Dancing - here is everything you need to know about the TV presenter.

Dan Walker will be joining Strictly Come Dancing this September. (Pic credit: Mike Egerton / PA)

So far Strictly has a line-up of eight contestants - the most recently announced being Dan Walker.


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Dan was born and raised in Crawley, West Sussex, but moved to Sheffield when he studied for a BA degree in history at the University of Sheffield.

He graduated in 1998 and went on to study his MA in journalism studies at the same university, where he graduated a year later.

His broadcasting career started with work experience at Sheffield Hallam FM after winning a contest for young sports commentators.

Rise to fame

Dan moved to Manchester in 1999 to embark on a full-time career as sports presenter and commentator for the city’s Key 103 radio for four years.

He began working in television with a six-month stint at Granada Television in Manchester, where he appeared as a commentator on the Football League Review show before joining BBC regional news programme, North West Tonight.

Throughout his time there, he was nominated for various awards and won the Royal Television Society Sports Award in 2005 for Regional Sports Presenter of the Year.

Since 2006, he has worked in London, presenting and reporting at Wimbledon, The Open, Aintree, Ascot, and The Derby at Epsom, as well as the Six Nations.

He then went on to present Football Focus, where he took over from Manish Bhasin, and now presents Friday Focus. He was also part of the BBC Sports team covering the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

He presented Afternoon Edition every Monday to Thursday on BBC Radio 5 Live until 2016, when he replaced Bill Turnbull as presenter of BBC Breakfast.

Following 12 years, Dan left Football Focus on May 22, 2021, and will continue to present BBC Breakfast and BBC Sport.

He will be joining the line-up for Strictly Come Dancing’s nineteenth series in September 2021.