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BBC apologises after accidentally showing old clip of Huw Edwards

huw edwards
The clip shown was from September 2017, which focused on Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean and was presented by Edwards - BBC

The BBC has apologised after disgraced presenter Huw Edwards unexpectedly appeared on BBC One on Saturday when an old clip was played by accident.

Edwards hasn’t appeared on the channel since he was named publicly as the star being investigated following allegations of sexual misconduct earlier this year.

The news anchor was accused of paying £35,000 for explicit photographs from a vulnerable teenager who it later emerged was 18 years old at the time.

But on Saturday, the Breakfast programme cut to a clip of Newswatch from September 2017, which focused on Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean and was presented by Edwards.

The blunder was reported on Twitter, with several users criticising the BBC for allowing Edwards to appear on air - albeit inadvertently.

One Twitter user wrote: “This is very poor, BBC”, while another said: “How the hell can such issues happen? Surely everyone knows what is stored where.”

‘Eagle-eyed viewers’

Breakfast presenter Ben Thompson apologised for the “technical gremlins” which caused the archived footage to be shown.

When the mistake occurred, the presenter said: “You might have noticed, the eagle-eyed viewers amongst you, that that was quite an old episode, so we will find the right one and bring it to you later.”

Edwards, 62 was last on screen on July 5 during the King’s visit to Scotland.

He was identified as the BBC presenter at the heart of the scandal when his wife Vicky Flind issued a statement.

She said her husband had been “suffering from serious mental health issues” following the claims that emerged in The Sun on July 6.

She added: “I know that Huw is deeply sorry that so many colleagues have been impacted by the recent media speculation. We hope this statement will bring that to an end.

“Once well enough to do so, he intends to respond to the stories that have been published.”

‘No one expects him to come back’

Yet questions remain for the BBC, The Sun and the presenter himself, and it is still unclear whether Edwards will ever be able to recover from the issues that have him left him off the air.

One senior BBC journalist summarised the verdict of large parts of the newsroom when it comes to Edwards’s employment prospects: “No one expects him to come back,” the source told the Guardian earlier this month.

The newspaper reported at the time that some of Edwards’s closest colleagues said they had not heard from him in weeks and he was not responding to messages.

In reply to Edwards’ surprise appearance on the BBC on Saturday, a spokesman for the corporation told The Telegraph: “This was explained by our presenter after the clip was shown.”