13 July 2023

Nicky Campbell among broadcasters voicing compassion for Huw Edwards

13 July 2023

Nicky Campbell is among the broadcasters keeping Huw Edwards in their thoughts after he was named by his wife as the BBC presenter at the centre of the recent furore.

The broadcaster continues its “fact-finding investigations” into allegations against Edwards over payments for sexually explicit images after the Metropolitan Police said on Wednesday it found no crime has been committed by the presenter.

Edwards’ wife, Vicky Flind, issued a statement on Wednesday to say her husband is “suffering from serious mental health issues” and receiving in-patient hospital care.

Campbell was among the BBC presenters forced to publicly deny they were the unnamed presenter amid social media speculation after The Sun’s newspaper initial report of the allegations on Friday.

During his BBC Radio 5 Live show on Thursday morning, which was titled Huw Edwards: Did The Sun Get It Wrong?, Campbell said: “What a saga this all is. It’s been very tough to cover here, obviously.

“Our thoughts have to be with all those who have suffered, the family who have suffered and Huw Edwards of course.”

Over the weekend, Campbell suggested he had contacted police about being mentioned online in connection with the story.

He tweeted a screenshot which featured the Metropolitan Police logo and wrote: “I think it’s important to take a stand. There’s just too many of these people on social media. Thanks for your support friends.”

Former Downing Street press secretary Alastair Campbell recounted how he and Edwards had spoken often about depression.

He said in a tweet on Wednesday evening: “Like virtually everyone else, I know absolutely nothing about the events that have led to the statement by Huw Edwards’ wife. But I do know that he is a superb broadcaster.

“I know too that he has a long history of depression. He and I have spoken about it often, including in an interview for @MensHealthUK shortly before the Queen’s death which he covered so brilliantly.

“Precisely because he is both well known and well liked he is the perfect target for those who would undermine and indeed would like to destroy the BBC…

“The police having said no action to be taken, whatever he did or did not do is a matter for him and his family, and for the BBC.

“The obsession with this story has been a further sign of a media that has frankly become weird. But I hope – almost certainly in vain – that Huw and his family are given the privacy they need and to which they are entitled.

“And the same goes for all others involved in this story. I hope he is getting good care and wish it was available to all who struggle with their mental health.”

The BBC’s World Affairs editor John Simpson said he feels “so sorry for everyone involved” in the matter, including Edwards.

“I feel so sorry for everyone involved in this: for the Edwards family, for the complainants, and for Huw himself”, he wrote on Twitter.

“No criminal offences were committed, so it’s a purely personal tragedy for everyone involved. Let’s hope the press leave them all alone now.”

Former BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker described it as an “awful situation” and feels the news will come as a “big shock to many”.

“Huw Edwards is clearly not in a good place at the moment and this must be terrible for his family”, he said on Twitter.

“I just hope that whoever needs help – on all sides of this – gets the time, space and support they need to heal.”

Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy tweeted: “I don’t know about you but if there is no serious criminality, abuse of power or corruption – the private lives of public figures are of no concern to me.”

Novelist and host of the How To Fail podcast, Elizabeth Day, said she has “nothing but compassion for Huw Edwards, his family and his loved ones”.

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