Veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby comes out of retirement to take over BBC commentary of the Queen’s committal service – 69 years after his father Richard anchored coverage of Her Majesty’s coronation in 1953
- Huw Edwards led the BBC’s coverage of the Queen’s funeral this morning
- Social media users expressed their hopes the presenter treats himself to a break
- Edwards hands over the coverage to veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby
- David’s father, Richard, provided the commentary for the Queen’s Coronation
- Follow MailOnline’s LIVEBLOG for updates as state funeral is held for Queen Elizabeth II in London today
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
Veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby has come out of retirement to take over the BBC commentary of the Queen’s committal service.
Dimbleby, 83, takes over from Huw Edwards, 61, who has anchored much of the BBC’s coverage since Queen Elizabeth II‘s death on Thursday 8 September, through to Her Majesty’s funeral at Westminster Abbey this morning.
Dimbleby will take over the BBC commentary alongside Kirsty Young, the former presenter of Desert Island Discs.
This comes 69 years after Dimbleby’s father, Richard Dimbleby, provided the commentary for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953.
Veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby has come out of retirement to take over BBC commentary of the Queen’s committal service
David Dimbleby’s father, Richard Dimbleby, provided the commentary for the Queen’s Coronation in 1953
Journalist Scott Bryan pointed out that David’s father, Richard Dimbleby, provided the commentary for The Queen’s Coronation back in 1953
Several people have taken to Twitter to applaud the BBC’s choice of anchors, with one calling them the ‘hard hitters.’
‘David Dimbleby and Kirsty Young, the hard hitters are out. We are in the safest of hands,’ they tweeted.
Another wrote: ‘Huw Edwards, Kirsty Young and David Dimbleby. The BBC have pulled out all the tier one today.’
Many users were delighted to see Kirsty Young – who famously presented Desert Island Discs from 2006 to 2018 – back on their screens.
‘Hearing Kirsty Young on the BBC makes me miss her so much,’ one user wrote. ‘Her voice is so calming. I’m half expecting her to ask each guest which record they are taking on the Desert Island!’
Kirsty is joined by veteran broadcaster David Dimbleby, the former host of Question Time, who retired from the show in 2018.
Huw Edwards has handed over the BBC coverage of the Queen’s funeral to Kirsty Young and David Dimbleby
Journalist Scott Bryan pointed out that David’s father, Richard Dimbleby, provided the commentary for The Queen’s Coronation back in 1953.
‘The Coronation brought the nation together, as 10.4 million people watched in the homes of friends and neighbours, and 1.5 million watched in public places like pubs and cinemas,’ the BBC states on its website.
‘The BBC coverage of the event included cameras installed inside Westminster Abbey for the first time, to show the Coronation Service.
‘The Queen gave her permission for this departure, against official advice – revealing the monarchy’s willingness to move with the times.
Viewers joked that Huw Edwards ‘needs a holiday’ as he led the BBC’s coverage of the Queen’s funeral this morning
Taking to Twitter, many social media users expressed their hopes that the presenter treats himself to a well-deserved break
‘Television commentary in the Abbey was provided by Richard Dimbleby, with 7 other commentators including Bernard Braden and Brian Johnston providing coverage along the processional route.’
The handover to Young and Dimbleby will come as a relief for many people, who were calling for Edwards to take a break.
One user wrote: ‘@thehuwedwards you’ve done an amazing job since making the announcement of her majesty’s death. I hope the BBC allows you a well deserved holiday!’
Another added: ‘Huw Edwards deserves a 6 month holiday after today. How he’s managed to talk and interview people for 10 days straight about this I’ll never know.’
One joked: ‘Can someone give #huwedwards a pillow and blanket, followed by a long holiday, please?’
‘Can we all club together on GoFundMe and buy Huw Edwards a holiday once all this is done? The man’s been broadcasting seemlessly for 12 days solid now,’ another joked.
‘Has anyone worked harder than these couple of weeks? Crazy pressure to be the person to say “this is the BBC from London” day of. Give this man a holiday,’ one Twitter use quipped.
Edwards has presented much of the BBC’s coverage since Queen Elizabeth II’s death was announced on 8 September.
BBC One viewers expressed concerns last week over the news presenter’s sore-looking right eye
The public service broadcaster had a total of 9.83million people tuned into BBC One at 6.30pm when the death of Queen Elizabeth II (pictured just two days before she died) was officially announced
Viewers have praised the presenter’s ‘amazing’ coverage, with one calling him ‘absolutely stupendous.’
‘Huw Edwards absolutely stupendous again today,’ they wrote. ‘He’s a b***dy amazing broadcaster. Completely on the ball, composed, pragmatic but sensitive.’
Another added: ‘All presenters, particularly on BBC have been tremendous, however, has been absolutely outstanding.
‘Always the right tone, isn’t rude when he has to stops guests to go to live feeds, just amazing thank you.’
Viewers voiced their concerns fore Huw, with some suggesting he didn’t get much rest after covering the news of the Queen’s death this weekend
‘What an extraordinary broadcaster is. He has an amazing ability to hold hours of live tv together with the informative and comprehensive professionalism that it deserves,’ one Twitter user said.
Last week, BBC News viewers voiced concerns for Edwards’ health after the presenter was seen with a bloodshot right eye.
The broadcaster sparked concern on social media while covering the procession that saw the late Monarch’s coffin being moved from Holyroodhouse Palace to St Giles Cathedral.
Viewers spotted the presenter’s blood-shot eye, saying they hoped he would get it treated and surmising he must be ‘shattered’.
Edwards was also the presenter who broke the news of the Queen’s death to the nation on Thursday 8 September.
How David Dimbleby has presided over every election night since 1979
Dimbleby, pictured hosting Panorama in 1974, has been with the BBC for 57 years
David Dimbleby, who at 75 had a scorpion tattooed on his back, began at the BBC 57 years ago as a news reporter in Bristol after leaving Oxford with a degree in politics, philosophy and economics.
He led the BBC’s coverage of the Common Market referendum in 1975, a role he repeated in 2016 when the UK voted for Brexit.
Although best known now for election nights and Question Time, he led coverage of the funerals of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Queen Mother.
Dimbleby has presided over every BBC election night broadcast since 1979, as well as Budget Days and local, European and American elections.
The 2015 election was set to be his last, with BBC News presenter Huw Edwards due to take over.
Dimbleby laughs with the late prime minister Margaret Thatcher in London in 1990
But when Theresa May announced the snap election last year, a behind-the-scenes tussle resulted in a BBC announcement that Dimbleby would present it.
The veteran, who is paid about £450,000 to present Question Time, has also presented the BBC’s coverage of the annual Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph and other state occasions.
Dimbleby, who took over on Question Time from Peter Sissons in January 1994, will sit in the chair for the final time on December 13.
Dimbleby meets former Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe for an interview in May 2000
He is the longest serving presenter of the show, and beat rival Jeremy Paxman after each had to endure a gruelling audition for the role.
The debate programme was previously hosted by Peter Sissons and its first host Sir Robin Day, who died in 2000.
Dimbleby’s name has also been mentioned as a possible director-general of the BBC.
Dimbleby and Fiona Bruce, with Peter Snow in the background, at TV Centre in 2005
In 2014 he told how hard it would be to hand over the reins of the election coverage, saying: ‘I don’t have any instinct to make way gracefully. I shall be dragged kicking and screaming from my chair.’
As for Question Time, Dimbleby said earlier this year that it had been ‘exhilarating following the twists and turns of British politics’, and a privilege to bring ‘voters face to face with those in power’.
BBC bosses described him as a ‘titan in British broadcasting’ who had been a ‘brilliant champion of the public’.
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