Dan Walker ‘switching Twitter off for a bit’ after BBC Breakfast mistake sparks backlash

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Dan Walker, 43, has informed his 680,000 followers of his decision to “switch Twitter off for a bit” in the aftermath of an error, which sparked outrage, on BBC Breakfast this morning. It comes after Dan apologised to Professor Claire Hopkins on the micro-blogging site after she asked why her title was taken away on the header, when she appeared on the show today.

She was introduced as an ears nose and throat surgeon, and appeared on the programme to discuss coronavirus symptoms.

Later on in the show, Professor Nirmal Kumar, who has the same job as Claire, took part in a live discussion and was introduced with his title.

The host, who also appears on BBC’s Football Focus, penned this evening: “Today is another reminder of how hard it is to explain anything on twitter. 

“Good intentions are often picked apart, over-analysed & misconstrued. I’m switching it off for a bit.”

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“Might see you later for #MOTD,” hinting at when he could possibly return to the social media platform amid the backlash.

Fans took to the comments section to share their thoughts on Dan’s temporary exit from Twitter, with one saying: “As a person in the public eye I can imagine you get tons more abuse than the average Joe which is totally unacceptable. 

“Ignore the wronguns Dan, you are a good person, don’t let anyone ever get you down. Chin up and don’t leave us please.”

Another added: “Everything is picked apart by twitter people. It’s not the real world. You are great at what you do and everyone makes mistakes. People forget that’s ok.”


Dan said sorry to Professor Hopkins earlier on today after she took to Twitter to accuse the show of “unconscious bias” and queried why she hadn’t been treated in the same way as her male peer.

She went on to point out the same mistake had been made during a previous appearance on the show, while she shared a photo illustrating what had happened.

She wrote: “Spot the difference…. delighted to take part in an interview on BBC breakfast this morning with my colleague.

“We are both Professors and Consultant ENT surgeons…. why don’t we get treated in the same way? #untitling #unconscious bias.”

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After spotting the professor’s tweet, Dan admitted he was “not sure what happened”.

“We are normally very tight on titles of guests,” he added.

“What I can say, and it’s not an excuse, is that you were in the package and he was a live guest off the back so the ‘astons’ as we call them – would have been made by different people.

“It still shouldn’t have happened though. Thank you for flagging it up, thanks for your hard work & hopefully we’ll get to speak to you again soon.”

Although Professor Hopkins thanked Dan for the apology, she then said: “Same thing happened when you introduced me during a live interview last year too, when you spoke with ‘Claire and Professor Semple’… when coming on to give an expert opinion, titles matter.

“Everywhere else, I’d be delighted if called me Claire.”(sic)

In response, the BBC Breakfast host said he “realised” his mistake at the time and believed he had apologised.

He replied: “I think I apologised to you at the time too if I remember – which doesn’t make it easier because that is now twice.

“Today I called your fellow Prof ‘Nirmal’ which was also in error. I know if probably feels like an issue but I can assure you that this is something we are normally hot on at breakfast.(sic)

“Anyway, I’m sorry you’ve had to tweet about this and I hope this is the last time. I’m annoyed on your behalf because I know how hard you have worked and trained to get to where you are.”

She replied: “I’m sure we have all made similar mistakes many times over – it will take many years of conscious effort to overcome centuries of inequality and gender stereotypes. Thank you for recognising it (twice) and here’s hoping for third time lucky.”(sic)

A BBC spokesperson told Express.co.uk: ‘We have contacted Professor Hopkins and explained it was human error.”

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