BBC News Anchor Huw Edwards

150 150 Rob McGibbon

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Published: 2 June 2012

BBC News anchor Huw Edwards:

The prized possession you value above all others...My grandmother’s bible, which was presented to her as a little girl in 1915. It’s a treasured link with my family’s past.

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend...I wish I’d spent more time talking to my grandparents about their lives. My paternal grandfather, John Edwards, was a ship’s carpenter who spent three years in a German prison camp during the Second World War.  

The way you’d spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions...I’d spend all day with my wife Vicky and our five children [three boys aged 15, 14, 12, and two girls, 11 and nine] and begin with breakfast on the terrace at the Hotel Metropole in Beaulieu-sur-Mer on the Côte d’Azur. Sadly it closed in 2006. Then we would spend all morning skiing on the Aiguille du Midi above Chamonix. Lunch of smoked salmon then Dover sole with Chablis at Scott’s in Mayfair. The afternoon walking along Rhossili beach in South Wales, followed by tea at my mother’s house in Llangennech. Vicky and I would go to a Mozart opera at Glyndebourne in the evening, then have supper at Masia del Mar in Tenerife for paella. A glass of the Italian digestif Fernet Branca would end the day.

The temptation you wish you could resist...All sweet things especially Dairy Milk and my mum’s Welsh cakes. I am either fully on, or fully off. I’m currently off – but for how long?

The book that holds an everlasting resonance...How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn. It conveys so much of the hardship suffered by the mining communities. My maternal grandfather died in a mining accident when he was 28 and I was in tears reading Llewellyn’s account of a pit fall.

The priority activity if you were the Invisible Man for a day...I’d watch the College of Cardinals meeting in conclave at the Vatican to choose a new Pope. I would then reveal the workings of this most secretive of bodies on BBC news, but I’d have to steer clear of Rome for a while, just in case…

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise...People who think a crowded train or bus is the perfect place to tuck into a smelly meal.

The film you can watch time and time again...Chariots Of Fire for its epic tale of Olympic triumph and its perfect musical score.

The people who have influenced you most...My parents, Hywel and Aerona. The values they shared have been powerful driving force in my life.

The figure from history for whom you’d most like to buy a pie and a pint...Jesus. Talking to him would unlock the mystery of his life.

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child...Don’t dwell on your mistakes, but do learn from them.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity...Darts. I have a board in the garage and once scored 180 in 1983.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again...A brass tobacco tin which belonged to a great-great-uncle, Daniel Jones, in 1880. It was lost during a house move in 1991.

The unending quest that drives you on...To be a better broadcaster and, in the process, to provide for my family.

The poem that touches your soul...There is a sublime poem by the Welsh poet Waldo Williams called Cofio (Remembering) which explores our fragile lives and links with the past.

The misapprehension about yourself you wish you could erase...People assume the sombre news presenter is the real me. I love telling jokes, but it’s impossible on the news.

The event that altered the course of your life and character...I spent a year teaching in France in the early 1980s. I’d never lived outside Wales before then.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it...If I admitted that, it would defeat the object!

The song that means most to you...Y Tangnefeddwyr – also by Waldo Williams – which is an anti-war anthem. It was sung at my father’s memorial service after he died of pancreatic cancer two years ago.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever...My wedding day, and the births of my children, but also becoming the BBC’s youngest-ever political correspondent when I was 26.

The saddest time that shook your world...My father’s death. He was an academic who encouraged my interest in politics. I miss ringing him for advice. Time heals, but it’s a slow process.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you...To be a concert pianist or organist. I play for pleasure, but I’m acutely aware of my limitations.

The philosophy that underpins your life...Focus on what’s really important, invest in family and friends.

The order of service at your funeral...A bilingual service in one of the London Welsh chapels with a Welsh choir. The best food and drink will be at the reception. It will be up to my family where my ashes are scattered, but if some are sprinkled in Wales and some in London that would reflect my life.

The way you want to be remembered...As someone who did his best.

The Plug...Huw is to lead the BBC’s live coverage over the Diamond Jubilee Weekend from 3-5 June.