Hugh Edwards faced one of the toughest challenges of his career as the presenter of the BBC’s coverage of the Queen’s funeral tonight.
The broadcasting veteran has been at the center of the BBC’s news programmes Elizabeth IIdeath ten days ago. Some viewers expressed “concern” for Edwards’ well-being after noticing one of his eyes was “bloodshot”. Daily express reported.
Now he and Tom Bradby are at loggerheads as the BBC and ITV “vie for viewers’ coverage of the Queen’s funeral”. Daily Mail. Asked during the interview with Men’s health Earlier this year, on how he would react when asked to announce Her Majesty’s death, Edwards said: “You have to recognize the right tone – and in many cases it’s not an obvious thing. It’s easy to slip a word or phrase that isn’t offensive, but starts.”
Who is Hugh Edwards?
Edwards was born in Bridgend in Wales in 1961 and grew up in Llangennek, near Llanelli. His mother was a teacher, and his father was a plaid and Welsh language activist, a well-known author and scholar. During an interview with former Downing Street political scientist Alastair Campbell, now a mental health columnist for Men’s Health magazine, Edwards said his father was “absent most of the time I was growing up”.
“When we saw him, he was incredibly tired and ratty,” he added.
Edwards was educated at Llanelli Grammar School for Boys and studied French at University College Cardiff. After graduating with honors, he became a reporter for local radio station Swansea Sound before joining the BBC as a trainee in 1984.
Two years later he became a parliamentary correspondent for BBC Wales. Rapid growth on the official ladder followed. Edwards presented BBC Six O’Clock Newsbetween 1999 and 2003, when it was the most watched news program in Britain, before becoming the anchor Ten o’clock news on BBC One.
He is married to TV producer Vicky Flind, who worked for the BBC This week and ITV Peston. They have five children and live in Dulwich, London.
Battles for mental health
Edwards battled depression for 20 years and spoke candidly about how it affected his career. “It’s not anxiety, although it does include anxiety, but it tends to hit me in a big wave and then go away,” Campbell told Men’s Health.
“You come to work and obviously you’re professional, but you kind of work your way through it,” he added.
Edwards said that after revealing his mental health issues, a colleague told him that the BBC “doesn’t want people to think that a lunatic is reading the ten o’clock news”. Speaking on a BBC Radio 4 podcast Fortunately… with Fi and JaneEdwards claimed that he initially faced “profound silence” from the corporation after speaking publicly about his depression.
He told Campbell that boxing helped him cope. “It’s one of the things I can do when I’m feeling down,” he said. “I can snap out of it.”
Edwards added that his trainer, former boxer Clinton McKenzie, has a son who has been depressed, “so he understands these things.”
Edwards has also been at the center of coverage of major recent developments, including 2019 general election. For years he has “delivered news on Barack Obama’s first election” and “the EU referendum result”, he said The Independent.
Edwards also announced to the nation the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, September 8.
His extensive coverage of her death was hailed as a “masterclass” in broadcasting, the newspaper reported. A mirrorA TV critic said Edwards “spoiled the Queen’s death without making a mistake”.
Edwards threw “a marathon set of shifts,” Hyland wrote, but “consistently got the pitch right.”