Huw Edwards set to be named ‘highest-paid newsreader’ at BBC despite scandal

Huw Edwards is expected to be named as the BBC’s highest-earning newsreader almost one year after the inappropriate messages scandal that took him off air.

Edwards was suspended by the broadcaster in July last year over allegations that he received inappropriate messages from a much younger person and gave them money.

As the BBC prepares to announce its annual report this summer, details of Edwards’s six-figure salary are expected to be published 12 months after he last appeared on screens. The report typically includes the salaries of all staff paid more than £178,000 for the 12 months to the end of March.

According to The Times, Edwards is expected to still be named the corporation’s highest-paid newsreader, having earnt up to £439,000 last year despite his suspension.

Edwards, known for presenting the BBC’s News At Ten, has typically been high up on the BBC’s annual pay report. He came fourth on last year’s list for 2022 to 2023, behind Alan Shearer, Zoe Ball and Gary Lineker. For the previous year’s report for 2021 to 2022, the BBC said that Edwards earnt up to £414,999.

It was reported in January that the BBC’s chief news presenter suffered a “serious episode” after the allegations were publicised and it is understood that he remains too unwell to take part in the broadcaster’s investigation into the claims.

Any talks between the BBC and the newsreader have been on hold as a result, and it is understood that his full pay is being honoured until he is well enough to discuss the claims with his employer.

It was reported in January that Edwards remains too unwell to take part in BBC’s investigation into the allegations (PA)
It was reported in January that Edwards remains too unwell to take part in BBC’s investigation into the allegations (PA)

Vicky Flind, Edwards’s wife, who named him as the presenter at the centre of the scandal after the allegations were first reported in The Sun, said he would be in hospital for the “foreseeable future” after he suffered a “serious episode”.

Edwards has not made any public statement since he was named.

The Times reports that staff at the BBC are frustrated as the broadcaster has reportedly continued payments to the newsreader.

The Independent has contacted the BBC for comment.

“It’s terrible for the licence fee payer if Huw is earning so much but not working,” one anonymous BBC presenter told The Times. “The BBC is getting so much value for money from other people who are doing endless hours.”

A BBC spokesperson said in a statement to the publication: “As we have previously said, we will not be discussing matters pertaining to Huw Edwards, and we would urge people not to indulge in speculation.”