Delivering the news that Her Majesty The Queen had died was surely the biggest moment of Huw Edwards’ broadcasting career — and it was the start of a marathon period of impeccable work, which culminated in his coverage of the funeral on Monday.
It looks likely to be his swansong for the BBC, though; as negotiations with the radio network Global were already advanced before the momentous events of this month.
And now I hear Edwards may step away with more than just the good wishes of the Beeb and his fans — as consideration is being given to awarding him a knighthood, in recognition of his decades of journalism.
Showbusiness circles are alight with gossip that Huw is to be given a ‘K’ by King Charles in the New Year’s Honours and it would surely be a popular move.
On Monday evening, the Welshman shared a distinctly valedictory picture of himself on Instagram: in the BBC studio, looking out at Buckingham Palace after the crowds had gone.
He wrote: ‘It’s been a privilege. My colleagues are the best. Thanks for all the kind messages.’
Edwards’ record at the BBC is impressive. He has long led the royal coverage, anchoring events ranging from the Diamond and Platinum jubilees to the weddings of Princes William and Harry.
In 1999, he became the host of the Six O’Clock News. In 2003, he took over News At Ten.
Last year, the 61-year-old from Bridgend earned more than £400,000 at the BBC. But he has been dropping hints for a while that he is likely to depart early next year.
In August 2021 he admitted he was considering his future, saying the nightly news business could be ‘taxing’ and adding he did not think he would be ‘doing that for long’.
In a documentary for the Welsh broadcaster S4C, Edwards said that by January 2023 he would have served ‘20 years as the face of the News At Ten’ and that this was a ‘milestone’ he’d like to reach.
Earlier this month he was pictured visiting the offices of Global Radio, home of LBC and Classic FM. They have recently poached a number of BBC stars including Andrew Marr, Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel.
Asked about the visit he said: ‘It’s no secret that I’ve been thinking about my future — it’s been public for some time.
‘Not unusually, I’ve been considering several options, both inside and outside the BBC. I don’t want to say more than that.’
Martin Frizell, editor of This Morning, is coming under pressure over the lying-in-state queue-jumping furore — much to the satisfaction of some staff who are not Friz-fans.
Pictures showing Frizell flicking his hair as he accompanied Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield (below) to the media fast track at the ‘Queen’s queue’, are a particular source of schadenfreude.
I’m told: ‘Martin carries a mini hairbrush in his bag; and the first thing he does when he gets in every morning is brush his hair. The fact that he’s flicking his hair at this now controversial moment is so typically him.’
If ‘Friz’ does have to go it might be the beginning of the end for Schofield. The two men have a mutual admiration society, with Frizell calling the broadcaster ‘The King’.
ITV denied that their breakfast stars had done anything wrong, saying: ‘Any allegations of improper behaviour are categorically untrue.’
However, since the hoo-ha erupted, the pair have been taken aback by the strength of the backlash.
On Tuesday morning, make-up had quite a job to try to conceal the fact that the presenter had been crying. A source says: ‘Holly is annoyed that the ITV response was slow . . . this is catastrophic to her image.’
Anya’s new role may put you off your breakfast
Anya Taylor-Joy proves she has the acting chops (if not the lamb chops) to match up to double Oscar-winner Ralph Fiennes in The Menu, a forthcoming culinary horror film set in a fancy restaurant on an island (and no, cannibalism is not on the menu).
Taylor-Joy plays the girlfriend of a young foodie (Nicholas Hoult). She’s brought along for the night and is far from impressed by the pretentiousness of the food — or the violence that follows it.
The film was written and directed by the Succession team, and has attracted positive reviews after premiering in Toronto last week.
Anya and the rest of the cast were required to stay in character throughout the six-week shoot; and the actors playing the kitchen staff — including Fiennes, as sinister Chef Slowik — were trained by Dominique Crenn, the only woman in America to have been awarded three Michelin stars (for her San Francisco restaurant Atelier Crenn). Taylor-Joy has just finished filming the new Mad Max prequel, Furiosa, in Australia.
So, what’s the Goss on Matt from Bros?
Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? I only ask, as Matt Goss seems set on total cultural domination.
Goss, who found fame in 1980s pop group Bros, is one of the most anticipated stars of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing, which starts tonight. While it’s common to use Strictly as a springboard for another project, the former pop star seems to be taking things to a whole new level.
A comeback single, Are You Ready, was released last month, but failed to trouble the Top 40. Now Matt is taking steps towards an acting career — just like twin brother and bandmate Luke, who post-Bros has appeared in more than 50 films.
Matt will star alongside Dame Joan Collins and Craig Fairbrass in The Stork Club, a gangster drama set in the 1970s. ‘I play a very sinister character, which is something I have always wanted to do,’ he said.
The film is being produced by Jayney Mackie, who worked on the 2020 romcom The Loss Adjuster, which starred . . . Luke Goss!
Ambitious Matt is also keen to produce a jukebox musical about Bros, having seen the success of films such as Rocket Man. Plus, he wants to launch a range of homeware and clothing: Goss rather than Goop.
‘I have been around people in my life who created great brands, and, for me, that is the dream. It’s not just about financial gain. It is something I can leave behind, as well as my music.’
He starred with the Queen, now Paddington gets set for film 3
Paddington Bear played a small role at the heart of the nation’s farewell to the Queen this week, with stuffed toys (and marmalade sandwiches) being left at the Royal Parks; and the BBC screening Paddington 2 on Monday.
And the loveable little bear — who got his first outing in 1958 — will return. The next instalment, Paddington In Peru, will start filming in London — and Peru — in 2023.
I hear that the usual suspects are all on board: Ben Whishaw as the bear, Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins as Mr and Mrs Brown, Julie Walters as Mrs Bird and Jim Broadbent as Mr Gruber. However they haven’t been sent scripts yet.
Details are shrouded in secrecy, though it has been written by Paul King, who directed the first two films.
This time it will be new director Dougal Wilson tugging at our heartstrings (his previous work includes some of the John Lewis Christmas ads).
Michael Bond, author of the Paddington books, did send his bear back to Darkest Peru — in 1964, when he took a trip to celebrate his Great Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday (an event that featured in Paddington 2).
On his way home, by boat, Paddington dreams he’s being chased by a giant biscuit and has to seek refuge with the ship’s doctor. Whatever the film’s story, the South American setting will offer the chance to see Paddington — a fish out of water in London — as a fish out of water back home in Peru, too.
And there’s talk of an extended family of bear cousins for us all to get to know.
A spokesman for StudioCanal said it was too early to share any official news of Paddington 3.
He got his first taste of the film world in 1946 — as a delivery boy for a production company — now at 89, Sir Michael Caine has finally called ‘cut!’ on his acting career.
Sir Michael is the biggest name in Medieval, a historical epic which tells the story of Czech national hero Jan Zizka, a one-eyed warrior (played by Ben Foster).
The star of Alfie, The Italian Job and The Dark Knight (to pick just three) plays Lord Boresh, an adviser to King Wenceslas in the movie, which was filmed in the Czech Republic in 2018 (and opened in the U.S. earlier this month).
Director Petr Jakl admitted it was a ‘huge surprise’ when the double Oscar winner agreed to be in Medieval. But Caine said: ‘When I got my hands on the script, it was special.’
He has accepted one last film role — as a D-Day veteran who does a flit from his nursing home in The Great Escaper. His co-star is Glenda Jackson.
But Caine told Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review last year he planned to carry on writing. ‘As an actor, you have to get up at half past six in the morning and go to the studio. As a writer, you can start writing without leaving the bed!’
We all remember the Blair children outside No 10 with Tony and Cherie. Well, prepare to feel old because Cherie Blair has revealed she is now a grandmother — of six. And she and husband Tony ‘help out’ with the childcare.
The Blairs’ daughter Kathryn, 34, gave birth to her first child, a son, last year. Speaking on a podcast with author Michal Oshman, Cherie said: ‘I’d like to say that I’m not an interfering mother-in-law — but that’s probably not true. I am hands on.
And for me, a grandmother’s role is a very important one. I was brought up by my paternal grandmother, as well as my own mother.
My father [actor Tony Booth] left us when I was eight. My mother, being a single parent, lived with her parents in-law, so my grandmother was a big figure in my life.
‘I have every intention of being a very big figure in my grandchildren’s lives. So one of the ways I do that is we help out with the childcare.’
The full interview with Cherie, on What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid? (from Storyglass), is available on all podcast platforms from Sept 28.