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_ BBC staff will be 'relieved' Huw Edwards has finally resigned on 'medical advice' after News at Ten anchor was 'paid half a million a year to do absolutely nothing' following 'damaging' sex pics scandal, says TV executive

_ BBC staff will be 'relieved' Huw Edwards has finally resigned on 'medical advice' after News at Ten anchor was 'paid half a million a year to do absolutely nothing' following 'damaging' sex pics scandal, says TV executive

There is 'relief' among BBC staff that Huw Edwards resigned after he was being paid in full while he was suspended following the sex photo scandal, a TV executive says.

Britain's most famous newsreader, 62, has been off air since last July after he was accused of paying a young person for sexually explicit images.

Today, it was announced he resigned from his £439,000-a-year job because of 'medical advice' from his doctors.

There was no mention of allegations he sent more than £35,000 to a teenager in return for sexually explicit photographs. 

Broadcasting executive Stewart Purvis CBE said there is 'relief across the BBC' that the 'extraordinarily damaging saga' has been resolved.

He added that Edwards having 'walked from the BBC' will be viewed as 'quite a successful outcome' for the corporation.

Speaking to BBC News this afternoon, Mr Purvis said: 'I'm not surprised that the BBC has had to come to some conclusion on this, obviously they're saying that it's at the request of Huw Edwards, but there will be relief across the BBC that this situation has been resolved.

'Because frankly it had become embarrassing for the BBC quite how long it was taking to sort it out.

'The Director General Tim Davie, appearing before a committee in Parliament said that there were four factors. There was the detail of the allegations themselves, there was what it called the privacy issues, there was duty of care which is the BBC's responsibility to employee Huw Edwards and also the legitimate public interest.

'They've been trying to weigh up all those points and this is the outcome.'

He added: 'I think the questions from outside will be, is there some sort of financial settlement or not? Has Huw Edwards said "look I'll resign, I'll go" or has there been some kind of negotiation about the terms of him going – we're certainly not being told that now, and probably never be told that unless it leaks.'

The TV executive continued: 'Looking at the high, high profile of Huw Edwards, looking at all the other knock-on issues, for instance, who is going to present the BBC's election night programme? I think we could have assumed it was not going to be Huw Edwards.

'But the BBC I'm sure would have wanted to get on and announce who is so they had to, in a sense, resolve the Huw Edwards issue first. That's just one of the extra questions they've had.

'First of all, by and large, the most important issue was making the right judgement about what Huw Edwards did and working out what the right response to that is and what kind of precedent it might set.

'Because there are all sorts of issues arising from whether an offence had been committed, whether something inappropriate has been committed, whether there had been a breach of contract. 

'All those issues had to be weighed up and if the solution at the end of the day is that Huw Edwards walked from the BBC, then the BBC would see that as quite a successful outcome for what has been an extraordinarily damaging saga for the BBC.

'You can't have the fact one of the most trusted men in Britain turn out really to not be worthy of that trust.'

His words come after the BBC said today that its star anchor, who broke the news of Queen Elizabeth II 's death and presented coverage of most major national events including elections and the Coronation, left the corporation on health grounds.

A BBC spokesman said earlier today: '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'.

Edwards has never publicly commented in the nine months since he was suspended. MailOnline understands he received no pay off from the BBC - but had been paid his £439,000-a-year salary while he was suspended. 

He leaves with immediate effect - but is not known if the BBC's internal workplace investigation into whether Edwards brought the broadcaster into disrepute was completed.

In February, the BBC apologised to the young person's family, who'd complained about Edwards two months before he was suspended, acknowledging that there had been 'shortcomings' in the way it had dealt with the case as it reviewed its complaints procedures. 

Huw was named by his own wife as the BBC star accused of paying £35,000 to a vulnerable teenager in return for explicit photographs - minutes after Scotland Yard dropped their probe into the allegations last year.

There had been a frenzy of speculation about the identity of the star. Gary Lineker and Jeremy Vine had felt obliged to deny that they were the man in question.

Vicky Flind then issued the shock statement and revealed her husband, who was last on screen on July 5 last year during the King's visit to Scotland, was 'suffering from serious mental health issues' following the claims that emerged in The Sun the following day.

Vicky and Huw have five grown up children, brought up together in south London. 

The Mail revealed this month that Huw has taken sanctuary in his beloved Wales and is being comforted in Carmarthenshire by his mother Aerona.   

Huw was the corporation's highest paid newsreader, with a pay bracket of £435,000 - £439,999 in the year 2022/2023, according to the corporation's most recent annual report.

This was up from £410,000 - £414,000 the year before, putting him fourth on the 2022/23 list.

TV executive and former Editor-in-Chief and Chief Executive of ITN, Stewart Purvis, said today: 'Huw Edwards has been paid half a million pounds a year to do nothing, I don't think that situation could have continued any longer.

'They're saying that it's at the request of Huw Edwards but there will be relief across the BBC that this situation has been resolved because frankly it has become embarrassing for the BBC quite how long it was taking to sort it out.

He continued: 'Looking at the high, high profile of Huw Edwards, looking at all the other knock-on issues, for instance, who is going to present the BBC's election night programme?'.

He said Huw's departure today was a 'successful outcome for what has been an extraordinarily damaging saga for the BBC.

'You can't have the fact one of the most trusted men in Britain turns out really to not be worthy of that trust.'

Huw's exit came as the BBC has a busy year of news which includes several elections, huge sporting events and the ongoing wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

Incoming BBC chairman Samir Shah, made this point to MPs ahead of his appointment last year.

He said: 'Next year is likely to be election year. It is BBC journalism's World Cup . . . We need to be match fit. We need to have figured out everything from studio debates to allocation of airtime.'

Clive Myrie, 59, has been tipped as the news presenter who could front the BBC's election coverage and succeed Edwards as the News at Ten anchor.

Sophie Raworth, Laura Kuenssberg and Nick Robinson are also in contention to host election night.

He was accused of sending cash to a teenager in return for sexual photographs over three years. The teen is alleged to have use it to fund a crack cocaine habit. 

The Metropolitan Police and South Wales Police both said that no criminal offence had been committed by the presenter in this case.

Edwards, who until today was still reportedly receiving his full £439,000 salary, had seemed more accomplished than ever in the months preceding his suspension, earning lavish plaudits for his commentary on Queen Elizabeth's funeral. 

There were even calls for him to be knighted.

Declaring that the idea 'embarrassed' him, Edwards prepared with trademark rigour for his role leading the BBC's coronation coverage. 'I'd be lying if I said I didn't practise in my own mind,' he explained.

'I'm often on the Tube thinking, 'What would I say if this happened?' or, 'What's the best turn of phrase for this?'

He also took care to ensure that he was in peak physical condition, resuming the punishing boxing sessions that saw him shed three stone in 2019 under the supervision of former light welterweight champion, Clinton McKenzie. 

'I am going to have to lose a stone, no question,' said Edwards, who, aside from his BBC salary, raked in £25,000 in a single month in 2022 from speaking engagements. 'I am just a bit too tight around the waist.'

But it was Ms Flind, with whom Edwards has five children, now all adults, who stepped forward in July last year.

By then, the identity of the unnamed BBC presenter had inspired such a firestorm of speculation that Gary Lineker and Jeremy Vine felt obliged to deny that they were the man in question. 

The details of the vulnerable teenager alleged to be addicted to crack appeared in The Sun.

After that three more people made allegations against the broadcaster.

The well-known presenter allegedly began paying the teenager and sent them the money which they used to fund a drug addiction.

The child's mother, who first made the shocking allegations in May last year, told the Sun she felt 'sick' whenever she sees the man on TV.

The star was said to have requested 'performances' from the individual, who told their mother they would then 'get their bits out'.

A formal complaint was made to the BBC by the family.

The young person at the centre of the controversy said via a lawyer, according to the BBC, that nothing inappropriate or unlawful happened with the unnamed presenter.

However, their mother told The Sun they stood by the claims.

A bombshell second claim then emerged when the same presenter was accused of sending abusive and menacing messages to a person in their 20s.

The second individual claimed to have been contacted anonymously by the male presenter on a dating app. 

They claim they were put under pressure to meet with the star but never did, the BBC reported. 

When they hinted online that they might name them, they alleged they were sent abusive messages that were filled with expletives.

The BBC said the young person felt 'threatened' by the messages and 'remains scared'.

The star was then branded a 'complete hypocrite' for allegedly breaking Covid rules to meet a 23-year-old stranger from a dating site.

He was accused of defying the third national lockdown for an encounter with a young person in 2021 while the BBC was at the same time telling millions of people to follow the rules as part of its coverage of the pandemic.

The third person said they met up after months of interactions, and that the presenter sent them £650 in cash and asked them for a picture, The Sun reported.

They claimed the presenter travelled into a different county to meet them at their flat in February 2021 when rules included a stay at home order and mixing only between household bubbles.

The person claimed at the meeting, which came months after they started talking on the dating site in November 2020, 'he came round for an hour.... We just chatted. He was obsessed with me making him a cup of tea.' 


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