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‘No return’ for Huw Edwards to BBC


‘No return’ for Huw Edwards to BBC

Huw Edwards is reportedly to depart BBC News along with all other Beeb broadcasting roles following a scandal earlier this year.

Newspapers this evening have reported that BBC News anchor Huw Edwards won’t be back on screen.

As one of the BBC’s leading news presenters, broadcaster Edwards was a familiar face to millions of people and deemed ‘a safe pair of hands’ to oversee coverage during some of the world’s greatest historical events.

Huw had, up until the scandal, been the main presenter of the BBC’s Ten O’Clock News, since January 2003, and also presented numerous other programmes for the corporation including on the BBC News Channel as well as Newsnight, Panorama and Breakfast News. Prior to hosting the 10 pm news programme from May 1999, he also presented the BBC’s Six O’Clock News.

Huw Edwards – BBC News 1980s

But in July, following days of speculation, Edwards was suspended from his TV work when in a statement it was revealed he was the man at the centre of a number of allegations ranging from abusive texts to paying for sexually explicit images. In the statement, his wife Vicky Flind, revealed Edwards was the person The Sun had run stories on – without naming him – which noted the concerns of parents of a young man who they claimed had had inappropriate, but not illegal, online relations with Edwards.

On the same day as Edwards was named Met Police announced that there were no criminal offences committed as both parties were over the legal age of being able to exchange such explicit gay content. It also was revealed that BBC management were working through alleged allegations towards Huw Edwards at the time the story had went public but he hadn’t been told about the allegations at the time. In the same week, other Beeb staff came forward with concerns they had of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ towards them by Edwards.

Deadline noted that Edwards allegedly sent “inappropriate” and “suggestive” messages to junior employees, including making comments about their appearance. In another blow for Edwards, GB News reported that ‘sources at the BBC claim presenter Victoria Derbyshire was investigating accusations about Edwards’ conduct’ for a Newsnight expose feature ‘in the days before The Sun made its claims.’

Huw Edwards at the BBC News studios

In the statement, responding to the press speculation, Flind said on her husband’s behalf that, “…after what have been five extremely difficult days… Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues.” She added that Edwards had been “receiving in-patient hospital care…” and was going to be in the hands of the mental care services “for the foreseeable future”. Flind went on to add that “Once well enough to do so, he intends to respond to the stories that have been published.” This, as yet, has not happened.

Tonight several newspapers report that Huw Edwards is set to depart the BBC following the internal inquiry. Insiders at the corporation have leaked news that the face of BBC News is unlikely to work on Beeb programming again. They add that Edwards’ legal team are working with the BBC on a deal that would see the internal findings not made public – a difficult issue for a public service broadcaster.

Speaking to i paper one newsroom source told them, “we understand Huw is not coming back”. Another newsroom staffer spoke to the same paper noting, “The review is in and unfortunately there isn’t a path back for Huw. There is no expectation he will return.”

Huw Edwards – BBC News 2007

Huw joined the BBC in 1984 as a news trainee. In 1985 he joined the television newsroom in BBC Wales, and in 1986 became BBC Wales’ Parliamentary Correspondent. He was appointed TV News Political Correspondent in 1988 and went on to cover the downfall of Margaret Thatcher in 1990.

Formerly Chief Political Correspondent for BBC News 24, Huw spent 12 years reporting politics at Westminster. He combined this with presenting a range of programmes on classical music on BBC Two, Radio 3, Radio 4 and S4C. He has co-hosted General Election results programmes on both radio and TV and was one of the lead presenters for the BBC’s Millennium coverage.

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