BBC presenter scandal timeline as Huw Edwards revealed as star steps away from corporation

The BBC has today (22 April) announced that Huw Edwards has resigned from his work at the broadcaster.

The news comes almost a year after he was embroiled in a scandal surrounding a then-unnamed BBC presenter who allegedly paid a teenager thousands of pounds for sexually explicit images.

Following days of speculation and accusations thrown at various other BBC presenters, Huw Edwards was eventually named as the man at the centre of the scandal by his wife, Vicky Flind.

Flind said at the time that her husband was in hospital “suffering from serious mental health issues” after facing the serious allegations made by the teen’s mum, who claimed they used the money to fund a drug habit.

She claimed in a report published in the Sun that she was speaking out in fear that her child could “wind up dead”.

The BBC was left facing increased pressure after further claims emerged about the presenter which ultimately saw Edwards suspended from the job that made him a household name.

Below we set out a timeline of how the story developed last summer.

Huw Edwards (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)
Huw Edwards (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)

May 19, 2023

The family of a young person, who was 17 when the presenter allegedly started payments back in 2020, complained to the BBC and became frustrated when the presenter stayed on air. They reportedly asked the broadcaster to stop the man “sending the cash”.

July 6, 2023

The BBC said it became aware of new allegations against the male presenter.

A statement said: “New allegations were put to us on Thursday of a different nature and in addition to our own inquiries we have also been in touch with external authorities, in line with our protocols.”

July 7, 2023

The Sun publishes an exclusive which revealed a BBC presenter is facing allegations he paid a total of £35,000 for sexual content. A legal representative of the young person told The Sun that evening there was “no truth to it”.

The BBC responded to the article with a statement saying: “We treat any allegations very seriously and we have processes in place to proactively deal with them.”

July 8, 2023

BBC presenters choose to publicly clear their names – including Gary Lineker, Jeremy Vine, Rylan Clark and Nicky Campbell.

July 9, 2023

The BBC says in a statement that it has suspended a male presenter from all duties and contacted the Metropolitan Police over the allegations. The Sun reported the presenter allegedly made two calls to the young person and asked them to call their mother to “stop the investigation” after the exclusive was published.

July 10, 2023

The Metropolitan Police said it is carrying out further inquiries to establish whether any crime has been committed after BBC representatives met with detectives virtually in the morning.

The force requested the BBC pause its investigations into the allegations while they scoped future work. A lawyer representing the young person said the claims in the “inappropriate article” are “rubbish”.

In a letter reported by BBC News At Six, the young person said via the lawyer: “For the avoidance of doubt, nothing inappropriate or unlawful has taken place between our client and the BBC personality and the allegations reported in The Sun newspaper are ‘rubbish’.”

July 11, 2023

The BBC reported a second person felt threatened by messages they had allegedly received from the presenter. According to the BBC, the person – aged in their early 20s – met the presenter on a dating app before their conversations moved to other platforms.

The presenter then revealed his identity and asked the young person not to tell anyone. The young person later posted online alluding to having had contact with a BBC presenter and hinting they might name him.

The presenter then sent a number of “threatening messages” which the BBC said it had seen, it is claimed, and confirmed they came from a phone number belonging to the presenter. The BBC said the young person felt “threatened” by the messages and “remain scared”.

BBC News said it had contacted the presenter via his lawyer but had received no response to the allegations.

Separately, The Sun reported that a 17-year-old had alleged they were following the star on Instagram when he messaged them, using love hearts and kisses.

July 12, 2023

Vicky Flind, the wife of Mr Edwards, issues a statement naming her husband as the individual involved.

She said that he “was suffering from serious mental health issues” and is now “receiving in-patient hospital care where he will stay for the foreseeable future” as she asked for privacy for her family.

Earlier, The Sun’s new report claimed messages seen by the paper suggested the presenter travelled from London to a different county to meet a 23-year-old at their flat in February 2021, when strict coronavirus lockdown rules were in place including a stay-at-home order and mixing only between household bubbles.

The young person, who claims to have met the presenter on a dating website, said the man also gave them more than £600 in three payments, which the newspaper said messages also suggest.

They told The Sun: “The BBC were briefing the nation on the rules — when their star who was part of the institution was quite happy to break them.”

The Sun said it had approached the BBC and the presenter for comment and would hand over evidence to the BBC’s investigation team.

Broadcaster Jeremy Vine called on Mr Edwards to name himself publicly to prevent damage to the “BBC, his friends and those falsely accused”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that he “personally was concerned” by the “serious” allegations.

The Metropolitan Police and South Wales Police say that no criminal offence has been committed by Mr Edwards and neither force would currently be taking any further action in relation to the allegations.

The BBC announces it will resume its “fact-finding investigations” to ensure “due process and a thorough assessment of the facts, whilst continuing to be mindful of our duty of care to all involved”.

February 27, 2024

The BBC announces that they have apologised to the family of the young person involved in the scandal as part of a report commissioned in its aftermath.

The corporation also reveals that they identified shortcomings in their own complaints procedure that they will be working to rectify in the future.

“The report identifies specific process shortcomings in the presenter case. The initial complaint in this case was not escalated quickly enough to senior management and we have apologised to the complainant for this,” Leigh Tavaziva, BBC Group Chief Operating Officer said.

She added: “Although our existing processes and systems are, on the whole, working effectively, this review shows that we need to join them up better to ensure no matter how a non-editorial complaint comes into the BBC it is escalated swiftly, when needed, and dealt with by the right people.

“Where the review identifies process improvements we accept those in full, and we are delivering on an action plan with a number of enhancements already in place.”

April 22, 2024

Huw Edwards resigns from his position at the BBC after being off-air since July 2023, the corporation announces.

“Huw Edwards has today resigned and left the BBC,” a statement said on Monday.

“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.”

It is understood that Edwards will not receive a pay-off, Katie Razzall, the BBC’s culture and media editor told BBC News.

Edwards, who was one of the BBC’s highest-paid presenters, reportedly earned £439,000 last year despite being off-air since July.

He was one of the most well-known faces at the broadcaster and won widespread praise for his coverage of major news events including the death of Queen Elizabeth in September 2022.