BBC newsreader Huw Edwards has opened up on his tough battle with depression that has been so bad it has left him unable to get out of bed at points.
The BBC News At Ten anchor is a familiar face to viewers and has guided them through many a key news event including election nights, the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral and will front TV coverage of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee events.
But he has been battling depression since 2002 and has spoken to Tony Blair's former press secretary Alastair Campbell for Men's Health UK about his struggles.
Speaking to mental health campaigner and columnist Campbell as part of the magazine's Talking Heads interview series, he said: “I’m pretty clear that I have suffered – and do suffer – from depression.
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“It’s not anxiety, although it includes anxiety, but it tends to hit me in a strong wave and then go away… I think 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.
“And, of course, if it’s very bad – as it has been a few times over the course of 20 years – you can’t work. During the worst one I had, I couldn’t get out of bed.”
Edwards, 60, told Campbell that he had found it difficult at first to tune out of viewers' personal criticisms about him.
He explained: “When I think back 20 years to me getting the Ten job, it took a long time to stop having a thin skin about people having a pop. ‘Why is this Welsh guy doing the news? Why doesn’t he sod off back to Cardiff and do the news there? All he does is read an autocue! Get rid of him!’
“You can laugh it off but if it’s every bloody week. I wasn’t used to it. I was used to being told I was brilliant. My mistake was thinking you can please all of the people. And you can’t.
“You have to be grown up enough to just accept that.”
Huw Edwards spoke to Alastair Campbell as part of the Men’s Health UK Talking Heads interview series, which features in the June issue of the magazine on sale from May 25 and is also available as a digital edition.
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