Belfast Telegraph

Huw Edwards reveals how long he waited for BBC election night role

The Welsh presenter is taking over from David Dimbleby.

Huw Edwards will present the BBC’s General Election coverage (Ian West/PA)
Huw Edwards will present the BBC’s General Election coverage (Ian West/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Huw Edwards has been waiting to lead the BBC’s coverage of the General Election for nearly 30 years.

The Welsh news presenter, 58, said the corporation first “dangled this carrot” in front of him in 1992 and that it had been in the back of his mind since.

Edwards will be at the helm during the overnight programming on December 12, following in the footsteps of the long-serving David Dimbleby.

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David Dimbleby (Richard Lewisohn/BBC/PA)

He told the Radio Times: “I’m going to let you in on a secret: the first time a senior BBC manager dangled this carrot in front of me was in 1992. So it’s been at the back of my mind since then.”

Asked whether the BBC had promised him the slot in 2015 before replacing him with Dimbleby, he said: “Oh, gosh, yes. They put out a press release, I think. Classic BBC.

“(BBC director of news James Harding) rang and said: ‘Yes, of course you are going to do the election coverage… on the Friday’.”

It’s very difficult to win battles like that in the BBC Huw Edwards

The election was on the Thursday, which meant Edwards would present the aftermath.

“I said: ‘Hang on a minute! What?!’ It’s very difficult to win battles like that in the BBC.”

He claimed a similar phone conversation happened before the 2017 election and he was again charged with presenting the Friday morning results programme.

Edwards, whose contracts last until 2023, also addressed when he would retire.

He said: “Isn’t it different for all of us? By that time I’ll have done it for 20 years. That’s quite a long stint, and nobody’s done it for anything like that. A bit of me thinks it’ll be quite nice to get some evenings back, even if I’m 60.”

Read the full interview in this week’s issue of Radio Times.

PA

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