Newsreader tipped for lead Olympic role

Charles Sale, in the Daily Mail, reports that BBC Sport plans to give one of the most prestigious commentary assignments – the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics – to newscaster Huw Edwards. “This,” Sale says, “will put him in pole position to call an even more important occasion — the opening of the London Games four years later.”

Sale’s report continues:
Edwards, the main anchorman for the BBC’s flagship 10 O’Clock News, has commentated on landmark events such as Trooping the Colour and the 60th anniversary of D-Day, and has presented a range of programmes from Songs of Praise to Panorama.

His impressive CV includes him being an accomplished pianist but does not reveal any experience of sport.

However, the choice of Edwards would be consistent with the Beeb’s preference for non-specialists to cover sports events.

He is known to be a good friend of head of sport Roger Mosey, who used to run the BBC news operation. Veteran sports broadcaster Barry Davies, now a freelance, was in the BBC commentary booth for the opening ceremonies of the Sydney and Athens Olympics.

With his encyclopaedic Olympic knowledge, Davies had hoped to be given the same job in Beijing.

Also pencilled in by the Beeb for star billing in their Olympic coverage are Gary Lineker and Gabby Logan, who are being talked about as the joint presenters of the multi-sport event despite specialising in football.