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Dan Walker explains mystery absence from BBC Breakfast as he returns to backlash

Dan Walker grills Michael Gove on India's red list delay

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BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin, 52, fronted the show with John Kay, 51, instead of her usual co-host Dan Walker, 44, yesterday. The pair didn’t address the latter’s absence on the show, but he has taken to Twitter to reveal why he was away.

In view of his 713,000 followers today, he shared Louise’s picture of the pair reunited in the studio.

He captioned the post: “Nice to be back.

“I was working yesterday… just doing some filming for a programme next week.”

Fans flocked to his co-star’s post to comment.

One Twitter user wrote: “Going to miss these fun selfies, when you depart later this year.”

“Cheeky Monday off for Dan x good morning both x,” a second commented.

A third added: “Good to see you both together again.”

On his return today, Dan interviewed Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove following the delay of Freedom Day yesterday.

The host challenged the Government’s decision to add India to the travel red list on April 23th, 14 days after neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh amid the rising new variant.

His handling of the interview sparked a mixed reaction from viewers.

One wrote: “It was a good interview. Thank you for pressing him, he came across as struggling with the truth.”

A second added: “The point is fewer and fewer will be watching – people are fed up with the constant sniping with the benefit of hindsight!”

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Addressing the reaction, Dan wrote: “Everything from ‘excellent interview’ to ‘sniping socialist’ this morning.

“The job is simply to ask questions and I find it encouraging to be accused of being a fully paid-up member of virtually every party, every day.

“Thanks for watching.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay for Freedom Day yesterday.

He said the rise in new variants and the risk of a “surge in hospitalisations” meant the initial date to lift all restrictions had to be delayed.

He added the delay will allow more people to be vaccinated, which could prevent more cases and deaths.

While social distancing measures remain in place, the Prime Minister lifted the 30-person limit on both weddings and funerals.

He also stressed that while he is confident remaining restrictions will be lifted by July 19, there is no guarantee the final step won’t be delayed again.

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