Huw Edwards resigns from the BBC

Huw Edwards
Huw Edwards had been one of the BBC's highest-paid presenters - BBC

Huw Edwards has resigned from the BBC in the wake of a scandal over claims that he allegedly paid a teenager for explicit pictures.

The presenter, who delivered the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, was among the highest-paid stars at the BBC.

A BBC spokesman 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.”

Edwards was suspended by the BBC in July last year following allegations that a senior broadcaster at the corporation had paid a teenager for sexually explicit images.

His wife, Vicky Flind, later revealed Edwards to be the celebrity at the centre of the scandal, and said he was suffering from “serious mental health issues”.

Edwards was suspended over a claim that he had paid £35,000 to a man, who was 17 when their alleged relationship began, in exchange for sexually explicit images.

The family of the man had contacted the BBC with concerns last May, and a later review into the scandal concluded that “the potential wider significance of this issue for the BBC was not recognised” by the corporate investigations team that received the complaint.

The mother of the 17-year-old contacted The Sun with her claims once her attempts to speak to the BBC failed, and the resulting scandal led to Edwards being taken off air.

Last July, the Metropolitan Police concluded there was nothing to indicate that a criminal offence had been committed. The BBC continued its own “fact-finding” inquiry into Edwards’ alleged behaviour while he remained off-air.

Highest paid

The star had been the corporation’s highest paid newsreader, with a pay bracket of £435,000-£439,999 in 2022/2023, according to the corporation’s most recent annual report. This was up from £410,000-£414,000 the year before.

His departure comes ahead of the BBC’s annual publication of its list of highest-earning stars, and it had been suggested that the corporation was braced for Edwards to top the list of its best-paid newsreaders again despite being suspended.

Edwards had become the most senior presenter at the BBC and was a frequent anchor for major political events and royal occasions

He presented coverage of the Platinum Jubilee in 2022, the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in 2018 and the funeral of Prince Philip in 2021.

He announced Queen Elizabeth II’s death on the BBC and presented coverage of her funeral. He also anchored the coronation of King Charles.

The BBC will have to decide who will front its coverage of the general election in Edwards’ place.

The corporation’s statement that Edwards had left on medical advice followed reports that he had been hospitalised for mental health problems at the height of the scandal surrounding him.

His wife said at the time: “Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues. As is well documented, he has been treated for severe depression in recent years ... and is now receiving in-patient hospital care, where he’ll stay for the foreseeable future.

“I know that Huw is deeply sorry that so many colleagues have been impacted by the recent media speculation.”