Hu Edwards said his co-worker told him BBC “I don’t want people to think that someone is reading the news at 10” after I tell them they are depressed.
The announcer, in the 1960s, described how his employer reacted when he told them, noting that at first there was a “cold silence” while his former boss was very helpful.
Edwards, who has been with the broadcaster since 1984, revealed last year in a documentary on the subject He had bouts of depression that left him “bedridden” since 2002.
He described how he was still coping with it, but added, “It’s not as bad as it used to be.”
They speak on a podcast hosted by BBC journalists Jane Garvey and happily at Glover… they asked Faye and Jane Edwards how their employer had reacted to the news.
He said, “Beginning with a kind of frozen silence is always the way an organization works.
“People don’t understand what the BBC is. It can be a very nice and supportive organization. It can’t be. It is a very bureaucratic organisation.
‘John Sergent told me many years ago in Westminster: ‘Never forget that the BBC is a bureaucracy and you cannot expect it to have a heart in a sense, because it behaves like a bureaucracy’.
“And this advice, while not always correct, helped me a lot to understand that many of the BBC’s results which are sometimes victims were not personal at all, they are just a machine delivering something. The machine took a while to respond.”
He added, “But I have to tell people like [former director of BBC news and current affairs] Fran Unsworth, who was my former boss at the news, could not have been more helpful. It was amazing.
“I think they [the BBC] They were a little nervous. One of my colleagues, who used an expression I could use because I was on his end and had no intention of insulting him in any way, told me: We want people to think there’s a lot of not reading that ten o’clock message. And I said: What do you mean by nuts? What is this phrase?
“But really, it’s a great idea of how people and some people perceive these issues. This was said three years ago.”
He added that as soon as he shared his news, a number of his colleagues came to him and said, “They have been dealing with their own affairs for several years.”
Edwards said he chose to go public with his depression because he thought supporting organizations like Shawmind and Mind was “completely hypocritical” without explaining why.
“I also felt that it could be a little helpful for people if you opened up about it and said, ‘You can work and you can be successful,’ whether you’re reading a part of Autocue or doing whatever…problems at the same time.
A BBC spokesperson said: “The well-being and mental health of our staff is of paramount importance and we have a wide range of activities to support them.
“In the news and across the BBC, workers are offered social care, including the option of counselling. They can access our staff support program 24/7, from anywhere in the world, and we have trained mental health lifeguards via Multiple teams.”
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