Bradley Walsh reveals how his father influenced his relationship with son Barney

Walsh presents a comedy travel series with his son Barney.
Walsh presents a comedy travel series with his son Barney.

TV presenter Bradley Walsh has spoken about his relationship with his father and how parenting his own son was a “different ball game entirely”.

Walsh, 61, presents hit ITV quiz show The Chase and also stars alongside his 24-year-old son Barney in comedy travel series Bradley & Barney Walsh: Breaking Dad.

Speaking on Desert Island Discs, Walsh told presenter Lauren Laverne that his father was a “man’s man”, and spent a large amount of his time drinking in the pub with his friends.

National Television Awards 2020 – Arrivals – London
Bradley Walsh and his son Barney (Ian West/PA)

“He was just a man’s man. Back in the day in the 60s they used to work all week, then on a Friday, around four o’clock, they would go into a pub and then get home quite late,” he said.

He added: “And on a Saturday evening he would sit in the club or the pub and drink,” before repeating the routine again on Sunday.

Walsh explained that, as a result, the pair weren’t close.

He said: “Were we close? I’m not sure looking back on it. We had a common ground which of course was football but as a man’s man, I think at the time, those sort of guys had time for the men.

“Generally they would rather be interested in talking about other stuff than spending a lot of time with the children.”

Walsh has been married to his wife Donna since 1997 and the pair share son Barney. He also has a daughter, Hayley, from his first marriage.

Walsh told the BBC Radio 4 show that he approached parenting differently as a result of the relationship he had with his father.

Speaking about his son, Walsh said: “I taught him to swim, and playing and reading stories to him.

“I don’t ever remember my dad reading a story to me, but I loved reading stories when [Barney] was younger and doing the voices and making up stories.

“And when you look at the relationship that I had with my dad, this is a different ballgame entirely, and this is how it should be.”

Reflecting on his childhood, Walsh also revealed he used to wonder if he suffers from ADHD, despite never being formally diagnosed.

He said: “I just I had so much energy and I always wondered, back in the day, if ever I had like an ADHD-type thing.

“I’ve never been diagnosed, but I was like a livewire, I was like a firecracker in everything I did. I ran everywhere.”

During the conversation, Walsh chose eight tracks to take with him to the Desert Island, including David Bowie’s Life On Mars, Tony Bennett’s Firefly and Always And Forever by Heatwave, which the presenter revealed was the first dance at his wedding.

Walsh also chose to take The Count Of Monte Cristo as his book, in addition to the Bible and complete works of Shakespeare, and selected golf clubs as his luxury item.

“I started playing golf when I was 19. I’ve never got any better because I’ve never had enough time to devote to it. Now, there will be enough time,” he added.

The full interview with Bradley Walsh on Desert Island Discs will air on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds on Sunday at 11am.