Strictly’s Dan Walker dishes on BBC Breakfast ‘cuddle’ trick with Louise Minchin

Dan Walker has revealed a sweet ritual that he shared with Louise Minchin on BBC Breakfast which they called the "Breakfast cuddle".

Strictly Come Dancing star Dan presents the BBC morning show and he used to co-anchor the programme with Louise Minchin before she departed the show in September after a whopping 20 years.

Dan and Louise shared a special bond on and off the camera, and they employed a special tactic to help their guests get through difficult interviews.

Speaking in his autobiography, Remarkable People, Dan said that him and Louise used to sit close to their guests on the sofa so that they could look after them if they got emotional whilst discussing raw or sensitive stories and issues.

Explaining the 'cuddle' trick in the book, Dan wrote: "We have something on BBC Breakfast which Louise calls the 'Breakfast cuddle'.

"We often deal with subjects which are difficult to discuss on national TV and, when we do that, we tend to be joined by a couple of guests: One is normally an expert and the other is a case study.

"We always put the case study next to us because they often need to be taken care of and looked after during the interview.

"It's much easier to do that when they are within touching distance.

"It is awful to see someone crying when you are too far away to hold their hand or offer them a tissue."

Dan went on to recall how the most memorable times they used the cuddle technique was on 11 December 2019, when they had a segment on loneliness at Christmas.

They were spoke to Laurie Boult from Age UK and Terrence, who had tragically spent twenty Christmases alone after the death of his mother.

Terrence had turned his life around after becoming a volunteer for the Oldham branch of Age UK, and wanted to try and encourage others who might be alone over the festive period.

Laurie had been extremely nervous on the day due to the pressure of launching a campaign in front of a huge television audience.

However, Laurie was sat at the end of the couch and Terrence was next to Dan in the "Breakfast cuddle position".

Dan added: "This was pre-social-distancing days, so we were all quite cosy on the famous red sofa."

The tactic appeared to work a treat, because Dan said that Terrence was a "star that morning on the TV" after telling his powerful story.

Dan Walker's book, Remarkable People: Extraordinary Stories of Everyday Lives is available to order now.

BBC Breakfast airs daily on BBC One at 6am

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