I’m proud we have equal pay on BBC Break­fast

New game show Chase The Case sees play­ers an­swer ques­tions to win vis­its to a se­cret vault. Pre­sen­ter Dan Walker, 41, talks to GE­OR­GIA HUMPHREYS about the show, the chal­lenges of work­ing away from home, and gen­der equal­ity in the work­place

The Chronicle - - Hotseat -

Can you sum up how Chase The Case works?

THERE are five cases – one’s got the jack­pot. Your job as a con­tes­tant is to, via your gen­eral knowl­edge, de­ci­pher where the dosh is and how to get it across the line be­fore any­one else.

What made you want to present the show?

I HOSTED our first fam­ily quiz when I was seven. We’re quite a big fam­ily, and so is my wife’s, so still, even now, I’ll play the ques­tion mas­ter.

I get to be sport bloke, BBC Break­fast host man, and now I’ve got a game show as well. They are quite dif­fer­ent in pace and tempo but it’s some­thing I’ve been want­ing to do for a long time. This felt like the right project at the right time.

You don’t have to be quite so se­ri­ous on Chase The Case. Was that re­fresh­ing?

OH yes. There’s a time and a place for news. When you’re pre­sent­ing Break­fast and there’s been – as there was 18 months ago – a horrible bomb in Manch­ester, there’s a huge re­spon­si­bil­ity of de­liv­er­ing that news in the right way. But when you’re host­ing a game show, you can be far more re­laxed and let your per­son­al­ity out a lit­tle bit.

Did any­thing ever go wrong dur­ing film­ing?

I WOULD say 25 of the hun­dred con­tes­tants couldn’t open the case first time. At the end of the pro­gramme where we go, ‘Let’s see the value of the red case’, or what­ever colour it is, I had to go and help. We had quite a few hi­lar­i­ous mo­ments – one guy, called Josh, who had a PhD, he took about two min­utes to open it!

Chase The Case is a to­tally new con­cept. Are you wor­ried about mak­ing it a suc­cess?

YEAH, game shows are a re­ally com­pet­i­tive field. We’ve made it fun, hope­fully we’ve made it in­ter­est­ing, we think the game­play is great, we’ve got some fan­tas­tic con­tes­tants, and the end game where you’re rac­ing down the red squares, ev­ery sin­gle one of those, it’s never the same – you’re al­ways sur­prised by what hap­pens or who wins. We feel we’ve made the best show that we can. If it doesn’t come back for an­other se­ries, so be it.

You re­cently spent five weeks in Rus­sia re­port­ing from the World Cup. How hard is it be­ing away from home?

IT’S much eas­ier for me be­cause when I go away, I just work, so I just plough on and get through it. It’s harder for my wife, my kids [he has three chil­dren, aged 11, nine and seven]. Pro­fes­sion­ally, it’s amaz­ing to be able to work on those tour­na­ments but it does get hard be­ing away from home for that long, be­cause you feel like you just miss out on a lot of things, like birthdays and par­ties and per­for­mances and vi­o­lin lessons... I know it sounds stupid but it’s those lit­tle things, isn’t it? But that’s part of the job.

Many of the BBC Break­fast team have done Strictly Come Danc­ing. Is it your turn next year?

I GET stopped a lot by peo­ple say­ing, ‘When are you do­ing it?’ But you tell me where I could fit it in! I love the pro­gramme, we watch it with the chil­dren ev­ery week­end. But from my per­sonal per­spec­tive, Strictly is best viewed from a dis­tance. I’m not sure I want that level of in­tense scru­tiny on ev­ery­thing.

Work­ing for the BBC means that your pay is pub­lic. Do you think pay trans­parency is a good thing?

WORK­ING for the BBC is bril­liant, they’re a fan­tas­tic or­gan­i­sa­tion, and they pro­vide value for money.

But I’d be ly­ing if I told you it’s not awk­ward for peo­ple to know how much you earn. I’m proud of the fact that we do have equal pay at BBC Break­fast. I’ve al­ways earned the same amount as Louise [Minchin], what­ever the var­i­ous pa­pers have said. The rea­son I’m higher up the [pay] list is be­cause I’ve got two jobs.

Should other com­pa­nies fol­low suit and have more trans­parency about pay?

THAT’S a de­ci­sion for them. As a fa­ther of two girls and one boy, I want my girls to grow up in a world where they’re val­ued for the work they put in, in the same way that a man is. I think that’s im­por­tant.

How do you re­lax away from film­ing?

WE take the kids out cy­cling. If I’m re­lax­ing my­self, I love play­ing golf. I don’t work Sun­days so I al­ways have Sun­days at home. We go to church and spend that time as a fam­ily day.

What else have you got lined up in the fu­ture?

I’M try­ing to fac­tor in some sleep. The one thing Bill Turn­bull told me when I took over from him on Break­fast: ‘Dan, I don’t want to give you any ad­vice, all I would say is just man­age your sleep’. And I’ve ig­nored him en­tirely! Chase The Case is on BBC1 Mon­day to Fri­day at 2.15pm

Dan with his BBC Break­fast co-pre­sen­ter, Louise Minchin Dan Walker takes on his first game show with Chase The Case

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