Birthday present with a difference…

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‘I bet the television presenter won’t like this story…’

As today is the birthday of disgraced presenter, Huw Edwards, who was honoured by the Queen yet venerated by Welsh nationalists, it offers another opportunity for our Editor, Welshman Phil Parry to look at how quickly fortunes change because only a few weeks ago Mr Edwards was one of the most highly-paid stars on UK television. 

Earlier Phil has described how he was helped to break into the South Wales Echo office car when he was a cub reporter, recalled his early career as a journalist, the importance of experience in the job, and making clear that the‘calls’ to emergency services as well as court cases are central to any media operation.

He has also explored how poorly paid most journalism is when trainee reporters had to live in squalid flats, the vital role of expenses, and about one of his most important stories on the now-scrapped 53 year-old BBC Wales TV Current Affairs series, Week In Week Out (WIWO), which won an award even after it was axed, long after his career really took off

Phil has explained too how crucial it is actually to speak to people, the virtue of speed as well as accuracy, why knowledge of history and teaching the subject is vital, how certain material was removed from TV Current Affairs programmes when secret cameras had to be used, and some of those he has interviewed.

He has disclosed as well why investigative journalism is needed now more than ever although others have different opinions, how the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown played havoc with media schedules, and the importance of the hugely lower average age of some political leaders compared with when he started reporting. 

 

‘I am so honoured ma’am – pity about what will come out…’

It was only last month.

On July 12, after days of speculation about who the presenter was who had been suspended for allegedly paying £35,000 to a teenager in exchange for sexually explicit images, Huw Edwards, was outed by his wife.

A news item on the BBC said: “Vicky Flind, the wife of news reader Huw Edwards, has named him as the BBC presenter facing allegations over payments for sexually explicit images in a statement issued on his behalf”.

Huw Edwards’ mental health was highlighted, but not that of the person he allegedly paid money to for sexually explicit images

In a statement she declared: I am doing this primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children”.

Mr Edwards (who is 62 today), was the BBC’s most well paid newsreader in a pay bracket of £435,000 to £439,999 – putting him fourth on the top 10 list, the corporation’s annual report revealed – yet it has now all come crashing down, and Wales has featured prominently.

Mr Edwards is himself proudly Welsh (he is from Bridgend), and acting chairwoman, Dame Elan Closs Stephens, is also from Wales.