‘He has been an informative, authoritative and deeply reassuring presence during many of the key moments of the nation’s recent history’
As two governments fell and the UK’s longest reigning monarch passed away last year, one man was there to talk BBC viewers through it all.
Huw Edwards has become one of the most recognisable faces, and voices, on broadcast television over the course of his 38-year career.
In 2003, after four years as the main presenter of BBC News At Six, he took the helm of the BBC’s flagship News At Ten, a role he has now held for an impressive 20 years (and counting).
Alongside this, he has been an informative, authoritative and deeply reassuring presence during many of the key moments of the nation’s recent history, presenting the BBC’s coverage of the State Opening of Parliament, numerous elections, the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2012 London Olympics and 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the weddings of both Prince William and Prince Harry.
These decades of presenting expertise were truly put to the test last year. In September, after leading five hours of rolling news about the declining health of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, he announced the news of her death to the nation – with just 10 seconds’ notice.
The announcement kicked off 10 days of continuous coverage, steered by Edwards, which culminated in a funeral watched by 29 million people in the UK alone.
A few weeks later, he narrated the fall of Liz Truss’s weeks-old government in real time, switching effortlessly between explaining the rapidly evolving political situation and throwing out facts about London’s Bazalgette Embankment to fill the time as Truss’s car wound its way to Downing Street, where she would announce her resignation.
At a time of incredible change and emotion, Edwards was the front man for a monumental effort by the BBC to capture the public mood. With his characteristic blend of warmth and professionalism, he was able to communicate the scale of the events as they unfolded, while making it all look easy.