‘Internal warfare raging’ inside BBC over Huw Edwards’ News at Ten slot
Months of “internal warfare” have been “raging” inside the BBC over Huw Edwards’ “stranglehold” on the News at Ten bulletin, it has been reported.
According to Dan Wootton for MailOnline, a household name within the corporation said there’s been a “major push” to “get him to stand down”.
The Welsh broadcaster revealed over the weekend he can’t see himself continuing to occupy the presenter’s chair on the News at Ten for very long.
He said that he found the nightly news “taxing” and thought it was “fair” for the viewers and ambitious co-workers to see a change in presenters.
Edwards also slammed the “clumsy” way the BBC handled the decision to publish the salaries of members of staff, saying that it’s been a “nightmare”.
Wootton said: “In what seemed like a bolt-from-the-blue, Huw Edwards over the weekend came close to revealing he will soon step down from presenting the News at Ten.
“But for many months internal warfare has been raging at the increasingly woke BBC about the Welshman’s stranglehold on the corporation’s flagship bulletin, watched by millions of Brits every night.”
According to Wootton a household name BBC News presenter told him recently: “It’s outrageous that Huw is still in place at the News at Ten and there is a major push underway to get him to stand down and take a reduced role.
“He’s an old white guy and he’s very arrogant. The feeling is that it’s time for the BBC to practice what it preaches on such an important show. Huw hasn’t helped himself and doesn’t have a lot of allies.”
Wootton added: “Such ferocity from the fellow famous presenter towards Huw surprised me.
Huw Edwards told Dewi Llwyd’s Sunday Programme on Radio Cymru in an interview before his 60th birthday: “I believe that a time comes when you’re bound to re-assess what’s in front of you,” he said. “That’s perfectly natural.
“And now that a big milestone is here, which is 60 years old, it’s natural for a man to think ‘am I going to continue in this job for another five years or do I want to do something different?’”
He added that like Radio Cymru presenter Dewi Llwyd he was “a natural broadcaster” and so wouldn’t give up presenting or broadcasting.
“But the nightly news business, after 20 years, that can be taxing, even though I still enjoy the job,” he said.
“But I don’t think I’ll be doing that for long. Because I believe that, in the first place, I think it’s fair for the viewers to get a change.
“Secondly, I have co-workers who are very talented – it’s time to give them a chance too.
“And I think it’s an appropriate time to consider what’s ahead.
“I won’t disappear tomorrow from the 10 o clock news because I’m still enjoying myself. But of course, I’m thinking about the working patterns of the future.
“And the truth is that I don’t want to sustain these working patterns for a long time to come because I don’t believe it’s a very wise thing at all.”
The BBC publishes details of salaries, expenses, gifts, hospitality and declaration of personal interests for all senior leaders who earn £150,000 or more per year.
But Huw Edwards said that he was unhappy with the way the BBC had handled the matter, saying that it has been “very tedious” for him.
“It has angered me, to be honest,” he said. “Not because I’m embarrassed about pay, especially because I took a huge cut years ago anyway.
“I don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for me. But if you do get a huge pay cut, it’s certainly going to affect you, your psychology, and your attitude towards the work.
“Especially if you see co-workers getting large pay rises and you don’t quite understand why.”
He said that he thought that he did not accept that people had a license to “stick their nose in other people’s business”.
“The whole business about salaries has been a nightmare,” he said. “A nightmare because the BBC in my opinion, and I’ve told them this so I’m not talking behind their backs, have handled the whole thing rather clumsily.
“And of course, if you go to Channel 4, or ITV or Sky, where they earn a lot more money by the way, no one announces their wages because they aren’t in the public sector in the same way.
“I’m thankful that I have a job that pays well. Please don’t misunderstand that. But it can be awkward as well in terms of my personal attitude – for instance, my own children didn’t know, and I’d never tell them, how much I was paid.
“My mother and father always told me it wasn’t my business what other people were paid.”