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Huw Edwards reveals he battled depression after his father’s death – but took up boxing to cope

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Huw Edwards has revealed how he has battled against depression – and took up boxing to cope.

The BBC newsreader, 58, told how he struggled to come to terms with the death of his father in 2010, and so began comfort eating.

He went on to explain that he kept eating to numb his emotional pain, and that at his heaviest, hit 16-and-a-half stone. 

‘It was a proper kind of depression about how I felt and where I felt I was, my dad and everything,’ he said, speaking to the Times’ Saturday Magazine. ‘I felt it had become rather overwhelming.’

‘The worst thing was I felt I couldn’t do anything about anything. I felt a bit helpless.’

Huw Edwards (pictured), 58, has revealed how he has battled against depression – and took up boxing to cope

Huw Edwards (pictured), 58, has revealed how he has battled against depression – and took up boxing to cope

It was only when Huw's mother Aerona warned him that he had ballooned to the same weight as his late father that the broadcaster realised he had to take action - and enlisted the help of champion boxer, Clinton McKenzie

It was only when Huw’s mother Aerona warned him that he had ballooned to the same weight as his late father that the broadcaster realised he had to take action – and enlisted the help of champion boxer, Clinton McKenzie

The broadcaster admitted that while they never had a particularly touchy-feely relationship,’ he was still the one who broke news to his father – academic and Welsh nationalist Hywel Teifi Edwards – that his cancer was terminal ten days before he died, aged 75.

Huw went on to explain that he continued to present BBC News at Ten – and covered high-profile events – including the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – despite having time to fully process his grief. 

However, his physical health deteriorated and the newsreader admitted that he failed to acknowledge anything was wrong until an epiphany in 2017.

‘By 2016-17, I had put on a lot of weight,’ he explained. ‘I felt dreadful. I mean, physically. It’s like a drug. I’d eat when I wasn’t hungry. I wasn’t doing any fitness. I was grazing, watching telly and eating stuff, even though I didn’t need it.’

Presenter and newsreader Huw Edwards arrives for his guest appearance at Sandringham Women's Institute (WI) meeting at West Newton Village Hall, Norfolk, on January 23, 2020

Presenter and newsreader Huw Edwards arrives for his guest appearance at Sandringham Women’s Institute (WI) meeting at West Newton Village Hall, Norfolk, on January 23, 2020

In March, Huw appeared to have a Covid-19-related case of pneumonia and was left with 'agonisingly painful' limbs and no sense of smell and taste vanished. Pictured, presenting 10 o'clock news on 25th February 2019

In March, Huw appeared to have a Covid-19-related case of pneumonia and was left with ‘agonisingly painful’ limbs and no sense of smell and taste vanished. Pictured, presenting 10 o’clock news on 25th February 2019

It was only when his mother Aerona warned him that he had ballooned to the same weight as his late father that Huw realised he had to take action. 

Following the suggestion by his wife Vicky, he took up boxing and running, and with the help of champion boxer Clinton McKenzie, Huw managed to lose an impressive three stone – while his mental health significantly improved, too.

Huw went on to explain that McKenzie gave him a helping hand when it came to his diet: ‘He just says, ‘Eat sensibly. If you want a pint or a glass of wine, that’s fine. Just don’t overdo it and don’t eat’ – in his words – ‘sugary s***’.’

The father-of-five continued: ‘Getting physically fit has meant being mentally more robust.’

Last year, on World Mental Health Day last year, he penned: ‘Big shout-out to Clinton McKenzie who has kept me going this past year.’

However, in March, Huw appeared to have a Covid-19-related case of pneumonia and was left with ‘agonisingly painful’ limbs and no sense of smell and taste vanished.

Since then, the broadcaster has tested positive three times for antibodies for coronavirus.

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