Huw Edwards, the BBC’s trusted voice, quits over medical advice

Newsreader Huw Edwards has resigned from the BBC nine months after being accused of making payments for sexually explicit images

Edwards attending a Six Nations rugby match between Ireland and Wales in February 2022. (Shutterstock)
Edwards attending a Six Nations rugby match between Ireland and Wales in February 2022. (Shutterstock)

Newsreader Huw Edwards has resigned and left the BBC "on the basis of medical advice", the corporation has said.

Edwards was named by his wife in July 2023 as the BBC presenter who had allegedly made payments for sexually explicit images to a young person. He subsequently stood down pending an investigation.

On Monday, a BBC spokesperson said: “Huw Edwards has today resigned and left the BBC. After 40 years of service, Huw has explained that his decision was made on the basis of medical advice from his doctors.

“The BBC has accepted his resignation which it believes will allow all parties to move forward. We don’t believe it appropriate to comment further.”

However, the young person's mother told The Sun on Monday: "We’re also suffering and have been immensely for nearly a year. We still have so many questions and need the BBC to answer them.

"We are worried that we won’t get answers now Huw’s resigned yet we desperately need them."

London, UK. 14th May, 2023. LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 14, 2023: Huw Edwards attends the BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises at the Royal Festival Hall in London, United Kingdom on May14, 2023. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto) Credit: NurPhoto SRL/Alamy Live News
Huw Edwards is one of the most recognisable faces on British television. (NurPhoto SRL/Alamy Live News)

On 7 July 2023, The Sun reported that an "unnamed BBC presenter" paid a young person for explicit photos. Days of media speculation put intense scrutiny on the BBC and director general Tim Davie to say why they had not named the presenter.

On 13 July, Edwards' wife Vicky Flindmade a statement saying he was receiving in-patient hospital care as she named him as the BBC presenter facing the allegations. In a statement, Flind said: “Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues. As is well documented, he has been treated for severe depression in recent years."

She ended her statement by saying her husband was receiving in-hospital care and would be for the foreseeable future.

The Welsh newsreader, 61, who has worked for the BBC for 38 years, was last seen on TV on 5 July and was suspended soon after. He has not been seen in public since. The Metropolitan Police said at the time no criminal offence had been committed by the presenter.

In February this year, the BBC apologised to the family of the young person at the centre of the row after a review found a need for “greater consistency” in how complaints at the corporation are processed. A core part of the scandal was the gap between the behaviour being reported in May 2023 and senior leadership only being informed of it in July 2023.

Huw Edwards pictured in 1998 when he was announced as the new presenter of BBC1's Six O'Clock News. (PA)
Huw Edwards pictured in 1998 when he was announced as the new presenter of BBC1's Six O'Clock News. (PA)

Born in Bridgend, Edwards graduated with a first-class degree in French from University College, Cardiff, in 1983, before becoming a reporter for local radio station Swansea Sound and then joining the BBC as a news trainee in 1984.

He landed the position of parliamentary correspondent for BBC Wales in 1986, becoming the BBC's youngest political correspondent at the age of 25.

A native Welsh speaker who has also presented numerous programmes and documentaries on TV and radio, Edwards went on to present the BBC Six O'Clock News between 1994 and 2003.

He went on to become a household name synonymous with the BBC's coverage of major news – he established himself as the face of the BBC's Royal Family coverage, having anchored their programming on the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and the coronation of King Charles III.

Also known for his political coverage, Edwards was a former chief political correspondent for BBC News and spent 14 years reporting from Westminster for the corporation.

Huw Edwards on the new set of the BBc's Six O'clock News in 1999. (PA)
Huw Edwards on the new set of the BBC's Six O'clock News in 1999. (PA)

In 2019, he took over from David Dimbleby as host of the BBC's election night, anchoring their coverage of the 2019 general election on 12 and 13 December.

Edwards became the main newsreader on the Ten O'Clock News – the BBC's flagship news show – in January 2003, and until his suspension was the lead presenter of its weekday bulletins.

Edwards was the corporation’s highest-paid newsreader last year, with a pay bracket of £435,000 – £439,999, up from £410,000 – £414,000 the previous year.

Edwards presenting BBC's Ten O'Clock News in 2007. (Shutterstock)
Edwards presenting BBC's Ten O'Clock News in 2007. (Shutterstock)

Edwards has spoken candidly about his 20-year battle with depression, following his appearance in a 2021 documentary which detailed his mental health struggles. Describing how his worst bouts of depression would leave him bedridden, the presenter said his anxiety as a result of depression would 'hit in a strong wave', then go away.

He told Men's Health UK in May 2022, he said: "I'm pretty clear that I have suffered – and do suffer – from depression. At least I now know when I'm going to enter a phase like that. Your mind goes into a place where you don't want to do anything. You can't make any decisions.

"Things that you usually enjoy, you dread. You come into work and obviously, you do a professional job, but you're kind of pushing your way through it."

The BBC presenter is married to Vicky Flind, a TV producer who's worked on This Week, Peston and Britain's Next Prime Minister. The couple live in Dulwich, south London, and have five grown-up children.

Describing his relationship with his children, Edwards said: "All your anxieties and inexperience and cluelessness as a parent are taken out on your eldest child. By the time you get to your youngest, in my case number five, you’re a brilliant parent."