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BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker issues public apology to female guest

The host reached out on Twitter

dan walker apology
Gemma Strong
Online Digital News Director
February 11, 2021
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Dan Walker has reached out to a guest following a mistake on Wednesday’s BBC Breakfast.

The show had included a segment that saw reporter Tim Muffett interview Professor Claire Hopkins about the loss of taste and smell as a symptom of coronavirus.

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When she was introduced, the guest's title was not used, and her description on screen simply stated, 'Claire Hopkins, Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon'.

WATCH: BBC Breakfast's Dan Walker apologises after guest blunder

Following the report, Dan and his co-host Louise Minchin then spoke via video link to consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon Professor Nirmal Kumar; he was addressed using his title and referred to his colleague as Professor Hopkins.

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Taking to Twitter after the show, Claire 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 #unconcious bias [sic]."

claire hopkins twitter

Professor Hopkins highlighted the mistake on Twitter

Dan was among those to see her post, and quickly issued an apology.

He tweeted: "Good morning Professor. First of all, apologies. I have spoken to my boss. Not sure what happened as we are normally very tight on titles of guests.

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"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.

dan walker sorry twitter

Dan was quick to reach out and issued an apology

"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."

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In response, the academic shared: "Thanks for the apology. 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."

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