In Remarkable People, Dan Walker, the host of BBC1’s Breakfast, recounts inspiring stories of the courage and selflessness of people he has met throughout his career. An uplifting tonic for the darkness and negativity of recent times.
We live in an age of anxiety, besieged by bad news and uncertainty. But Dan Walker, the host of BBC1’s Breakfast and Football Focus, is determined to shine a light onto stories of selflessness and compassion that seldom make the headlines.
In the course of his professional life, Dan has encountered many inspiring stories of bravery and kindness. In Remarkable People, he recounts tales of incredible humanity, empathy, compassion, and a steely determination to transform lives, restore trust, renew hope.
Remarkable People is the perfect book for these challenging times; an escape from the negativity of our everyday news cycle, and a tribute to courage and positivity.
|Formats Available: Ebook, Audio, Hardback (29 October 2020) | Paperback (13 May 2021)|
|Page Count: 352|
|Source: Purchased Copy (Audio Book)|
Today I have another non-fiction review from my partner. He has been listening to the audio book of Remarkable People, narrated by Dan Walker, and has provided his thoughts below.
This book lives up to the title and introduces us to some truly remarkable people. It’s an emotional roller coaster of a read and it achieves what Dan wants which is for the reader to create their own takeaways.
Our journey starts off with Lisa who quits her job, and whilst still looking after her young family takes on the challenge of fundraising to buy a house for homeless children in South Africa. Of course, there is much more, and throughout the book every person eventually encounters Dan who gives the full back story and further insight.
In writing this book, he has been truly respectful of privacy and feelings to those he has featured . This could not have been any clearer when we hear about Gary Speed – his friend, former football focus pundit and professional footballer/manager. For a man who appeared to have everything in life and, without giving any obvious signs of distress, he dies suddenly and without warning. I sensed Dan was conflicted telling the story and talking to the family as it would at the very least break privacy. Every word is carefully chosen and each sentence crafted with the acute sensitivity it deserves. It’s not a subject we readily talk about, and I was left with nothing but admiration for the way Gary’s two sons are dealing with the tragedy. It is so right that in recent years mental health is no longer such a taboo, and we are now rightly encouraged to ask people how they are. My personal takeaway is that giving people our time is probably one of the most valuable gifts you can give anyone.
It would be impossible not to include Tony Foulds. At 83 and a humble true northerner he has tended the memorial to 10 US aircraft crew who died when their aircraft crashed just yards from where he was playing over 70 years ago. One day Dan notices Tony in the local park sweeping away leaves, and simply asks if he is ok. Within 10 minutes he has the history, Tony’s contact details, and the dream that on the 75th anniversary – in 6 weeks’ time – “his lads“ as he affectionately calls them are remembered with a simple flypast. I was captivated by Tony’s dedication, humility and amazed that the traditional monoliths within society that invariably scupper these types of request came together. At breath taking speed the BBC, USAF, RAF, American Embassy, Washington, Sheffield Council and on the day over 16,000 spectators had one vision, one goal – to deliver the flypast.
Finally we meet Figen who after finding her son Martyn was one of 22 killed at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on 22nd May 2017 sees her world turned upside down. She assumes a potentially controversial position towards the bomber’s co-conspirator/ brother and says she would hug him. Her plans on how she eventually wishes to remember her son with a special teddy bear are moving. However, she looks at the wider issues of security and is developing “Martyn’s law”, and tells me she is actively working with the Government to improve venue security through legislation. She will of course always remember, but her life and outlook has totally changed and her compassion and love for her son shines greater – she will not let terrorism win.
This book has many examples of people who should be recognised by this country not least from the Pandemic. They don’t solicit publicity, and quietly go about what is the right and proper thing to do. This book reminds us that we can all do our bit and particularly when unified – with a single vision – be incredibly powerful. I have no doubt that we have met or know someone who is remarkable too – we just don’t realise it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Walker was born in Crawley in West Sussex in 1977.
He is a TV broadcaster and anchor of BBC1’s Breakfast. He also hosts BBC1’s award-winning Football Focus and regularly presents Match of the Day.
Dan’s previous books are Dan Walker’s Thronkersaurus: Football’s Finest Tales and Magic, Mud & Maradona.
He lives in Sheffield with his wife, three children and Winnie the dog.