Revealing depression left BBC's Huw Edwards getting 'funny looks'
BBC’s Huw Edwards reveals he ‘got funny looks from people who think you can’t do your job properly’ when he discussed his battle with depression – but says ‘I hope I’ve proved you can’, as he prepares to front TV coronation coverage
- BBC News’ Huw Edwards, 61, said 20-year depression battle left him bedridden
- He said mental health struggle has come and gone in bouts since around 2002
He recently revealed his 20-year battle with depression that left him bedridden and feeling alienated from the world.
And while most people praised him for speaking out about his mental health, some have given him ‘funny looks’ and questioned his ability to do his job, Huw Edwards has said.
The BBC newsreader, 61, said that it hasn’t been ‘easy’ since the release of a candid documentary in 2021 that detailed his struggle with bouts of crippling depression.
‘In many cases, it will pass, but in others, you need help, whether that’s therapy or some antidepressants,’ he told Good Housekeeping magazine.
‘It’s not easy because you do get funny looks from people who think that mental health issues mean you can’t do your job properly. But I hope I’ve shown that with some help, you can.’
BBC Newsreader Huw Edwards (pictured) recently revealed his 20-year battle with depression that left him bedridden and feeling alienated from the world
Huw Edwards, 61, said that it hasn’t been ‘easy’ since the release of a candid documentary in 2021 that detailed his struggle with bouts of crippling depression
The BBC News at 10 presenter has helped de-stigmatise mental health issues with his openness, which led him to admit he had times when he struggled to go to work.
‘People tend to think that if you are confident, then you never doubt yourself. But that’s not true,’ he said in the Welsh documentary.
‘Like everyone that suffers with depression, you don’t get one bout of it. It comes and goes. For me, it started around 2002 I think. I went down fairly quickly and I couldn’t understand it.
‘I couldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t want to go to work. I didn’t want to speak to anybody. Maybe it was partly due to the fact that I wasn’t happy in work. I couldn’t describe how overwhelming it was. I had a bit of a scare and I had never experienced that before.’
He said that he had an issue with having to ‘maintain a public image’ and found it hard to reconcile his on-screen persona with what he was feeling.
He said: ‘The issue was you have to maintain a public image, that is, you’re a well-known face. Whenever I had to go live on air, I would literally have to tell myself, “Come on now, you’ll be okay now.” You just have to do it and I just had to push myself in a way.
‘Eventually it did alleviate. And then, I had another bout that wasn’t quite so severe in the years after that.’
The BBC News at 10 presenter has helped de-stigmatise mental health issues with his openness, which led him to admit he had times when he struggled to go to work
Edwards said that he had been ‘preparing for years’ to cover King Charles’ forthcoming coronation
Edwards, who swapped his usual suit and tie for a cosy jumper and trainers for the magazine’s photoshoot, said that he had been ‘preparing for years’ to cover King Charles’ forthcoming coronation.
‘In a way, I’ve been preparing for years… I’m excited about it, but honestly, I’m a bit nervous, too,’ he said.
‘There’s a huge responsibility to get it right and I’m always terrified of making a mistake.
‘When I was presenting my first Trooping the Colour in 2003, I mixed up Sandhurst and Sandringham and my military friends couldn’t believe I’d made such an elementary error, but I was nervous and I slipped.’ He added: ‘I’ve met him several times. I’ve spent some time with him at his residence, Dumfries House, in Scotland and he has a sense of humour, which is quite captivating.
‘We had a conversation, just me and him, when we walked around the gardens and I’d never betray the confidence, but he’s quite blunt with his views on things, which I found rather refreshing.’ Edwards said he found the reality of presenting coverage of the Queen’s death ‘quite overwhelming’ and needed time to ‘digest it all and decompress’ afterwards.
The May 2023 issue of Good Housekeeping is now on sale.
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