Dan Walker emotional as The One Show surprises star: ‘No idea that was going to happen!’

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Dan Walker, 43, joined Angela Scanlon, 36, and Ronan Keating, 43, on The One Show to speak about his new book, Remarkable People. Discussing some of the stories from his latest publication, the BBC Breakfast star recalled a time 10 years ago when he paid a visit to an orphanage in South Africa. Following his explanation, the BBC star then watched a video which featured a boy who he connected with all those years ago and seeing the youngster left the presenter overcome with emotion.

Referring to his visit to the Zenzele orphanage in Johannesburg, Dan said: “This is somewhere we went during the World Cup [coverage] in 2010.

“It all sprung from an amazing lady called Winnie who used to used to feed orphans just outside Johannesburg.

“And she just started off by giving them a bowl of soup as they were coming past her house and in the end, she was feeding 500 kids a day.

“An amazing lady called Lisa Ashton went to this place, saw Winnie doing this work and you know how sometimes you meet people and you think, ‘That is incredible, how can I help? Can I donate a bit of money?’

“Lisa just went the next step and because Winnie is sadly no longer with us, she spends half her life running the orphanage set up by the Winnie foundation.”

The presenter continued: “They look after kids who have had an awful life and they have just got enough money to start building a halfway house.

“So when these children come through the orphanage, they can then go into the halfway house then go on to school, college, jobs,” he explained.

It was at this point Ronan told Dan to watch the screen as he was surprised with messages from some of the children he met in South Africa 10 years ago.

One such child was a boy called William, who had a particular interest in sport and told the BBC Breakfast host he was not a footballer.

You sprung that on me

Dan Walker

Clearly emotional at seeing how well the orphanage and William were going, the presenter said: “You sprung that on me.”

Holding a hand to his face, he then added of the surprise: “I had no idea that was going to happen,” before explaining he had always wondered what happened to the boy.

“I had a picture taken in South Africa with him sat on my shoulders. He is the same age as my eldest daughter.

“He was in this orphanage and the kids go through some truly awful times and it’s such a haven for them because people try to break into the orphanage as it’s safer inside the orphanage then it is outside.”

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“I’m so glad he’s doing ok. There are so many people doing incredible things,” he continued, explaining that was the reason why he wrote his book.


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