Huw Edwards
Huw Edwards Image Credit: AFP

London: The BBC Tuesday said Tuesday it had apologised to the family of a man who they claimed was paid for sexually-explicit pictures when he was a teenager by the broadcaster's star news anchor.

Huw Edwards, 62, had been the BBC's lead presenter in key events such as the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, but was suspended in July 2023 when the allegations broke.

The man's family complained to the BBC about Edwards in May 2023 but it was only two months later, when The Sun newspaper was ready to publish a story detailing the allegations, that senior leaders were informed of the issue, according to a report commissioned by the broadcaster.

BBC Group chief operating officer Leigh Tavaziva said a review found that new systems were needed to ensure allegations are handled more quickly.

"The initial complaint in this case was not escalated quickly enough to senior management and we have apologised to the complainant for this," she added.

The family said the man, a teenager when working with Edwards, had used money given by the presenter to fuel a crack cocaine addiction. The man, whose identity has never been given, dismissed those allegations as "rubbish".

As the allegations became front-page news, Edwards' wife Vicky Flind said the father-of-five was "suffering from serious mental health issues" and had been admitted to hospital.

He has since stayed out of the media gaze.

Edwards had been the anchor of the BBC's News at Ten bulleting since 2003 and was the journalist entrusted with announcing the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022.

The BBC's public brand has been built on public trust. But it has been rocked in recent years by scandals which saw some big names revealed as serial sex offenders.