You cannot be serious!!  John McEnroe.  What were you thinking?  If ever there was an embodiment of a male ‘mid-life’ crisis – in all honesty, post ‘mid-life’ crisis – then, yesterday, the 64-year-old former champion turned commentator was it.  Thinning grey hair – ruffled and brushed forward from the back to disguise balding – sticking up and placed a little too obviously, yes.  However, it was his attire which drew the arrows above his head!  Wimbledon has always demanded a certain dress code, paying heed to the elegance of old; the halcyon days of Dan Maskell, the ‘voice of tennis’ and the quintessential English gentleman.  Paying heed to a bygone era of gentility and charm, when manners and etiquette were everything and the word ‘ego’ had yet to escape from the bottle …  Such was its magic that even ‘the brat’ from New York – who was reviled for his outbursts on court in the early Eighties – finally succumbed, becoming a revered member of the commentary team and the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in that little pocket of SW19.  Welcomed back year after year, he has never failed to show the necessary respect, donning a shirt and jacket at least, if not a tie … until yesterday.

How we laughed!  There he was, admittedly still in a jacket, but with a black t-shirt underneath adorned with an array of heavy metal necklaces.  Tim Henman, the modern-day gentleman of the Club – beside him – was at pains to cover his amusement.  Television gold!  McEnroe, himself, was clearly regretting the rebellion as Clare Balding tried, desperately, to ignore the elephant in the room.  The question is, will this own-goal be repeated?  Will he be politely reminded of the appropriate dress required or has Wimbledon, too, thrown in the towel along with everything it stood for – and for which it was beloved.

I am more than a little worried that it may be the latter.  In fact, there is little doubt in my mind as the fortnight progresses.  As if the luminous pink towel wasn’t enough – which, I might add, the men choose either to leave folded or sit on.  Seemingly not, in light of the more significant changes revealed …  1877 marked the inaugural Wimbledon Championship and I should mention – just to add fuel to the fire – that Gentlemen’s Singles was the only event held.  Moving on, however, as the years progressed and the Championships welcomed women, it became customary that – as far as possible – the men and women played on different days.  It worked!  For as long as I can remember, come the second week, Tuesday was the women’s quarter-finals, Thursday, their semi-finals and Saturday, the Women’s Final.  Thus, the men’s quarters were on the Wednesday, the semi-finals on the Friday and the Men’s Final on the Sunday.  (Both the Men’s and Women’s Finals used to be played on the Saturday before the Sunday extension.)  All but written in stone, everyone had his/her favourite days and, in the past, we have always gone down for the Wednesday and the Friday, travelling home to watch the Men’s Final on television.  That, too, worked.  Not anymore!  It seems some bright spark thought it would be a good idea to mix the days and attempt a schedule alternating the men’s and women’s matches on Centre Court and Court One.  In the name of equality, of course!  Big mistake.  Huge!  So, as Shapovalov and Berrettini (among others) were banished to some outside court – one could have been forgiven for thinking that they weren’t playing at all – the women (most of whom seem to have a variation on the same surname) were playing for an hour or so on the main courts, sandwiched between the men’s four/five-setters.  Now, nobody is questioning that the women’s matches are equally important (to many!) but mixing the two – and their days – has proved disastrous.  Last Thursday, Murray walked onto Centre Court to play Tsitsipas just before 9pm at night.  Why?  Following the match between Broady and Ruud, there was a women’s match.  Fine but, remember, different days?  Take a breath …

The roof may have been on – to counteract the ensuing darkness – but there is an 11pm curfew.  Murray was two sets to one up when the Referee called time.  The rest is history.  How different may the outcome have been had the match started earlier?

Similarly, last Sunday, Djokovic and Hurkacz were scheduled third on Centre Court, Rublev and Bublik’s match followed by Swiatek and Bencic – don’t tempt me!  Suffice to say, Djokovic was leading two sets to love when the match had to be postponed, disrupting for the players and disappointing for the audience.  For goodness sake, it doesn’t take a genius to know that there isn’t enough time, starting at 1.30pm, for a women’s match to be played between two potential five-setters – even if, potentially, said match may only last an hour!!

Complete and utter chaos and for what?  Equality?!  Has nobody cottoned on to the fact that men and women are NOT equal in all things?  We are different – and I, for one, am proud to be so.  The sooner the world grasps basic biology, women stop bleating – coveting everything men have just because – and start carving their own path, then the sooner we can concentrate on the big stuff such as the Ukrainian player, Svitolina, refusing to shake hands with Azarenka, from Belarus!  Losing the match, Azarenka was booed by the crowd, unaware that the decision lay with Svitolina.  Whatever happened to sportsmanship?  The Wimbledon of old would never have allowed such behaviour … which brings me on to that of Huw Edwards!

Shaken not stirred … bloody both!!   Huw Edwards!!  An exclamation mark’s gift.  I know his name has been bandied about for days but …  My thoughts?  Utter disgust.  Complete and utter disgust and, most of all, at the cowardice.  Amidst days of allegations, this media icon, fêted, trusted, beloved even, stayed silent.  No denials.  No legal rebuffs.  Instead, while his innocent colleagues were forced to defend themselves, one heard that the accused was angry!  Finally, just before 6pm last night (Wed), his wife issued a statement, on his behalf, confirming his identity.  Strategic and all meticulously planned by his lawyers, surely, to garner the greatest sympathy?  For her husband, the esteemed Huw Edwards, was already in hospital – where he will stay for the forseeable future – suffering from serious mental health issues.  Of course.  The perfect Get Out of Jail Free card.  Oh, the irony!  The Met Police, it must be said, had already determined that no criminal offence had been committed.

For someone who has, apparently, suffered for years from serious mental health issues, manifest in bouts of depression, it is quite remarkable that he was able to fulfil a job so stressful.  For the last twenty years, after all, the esteemed 61-year-old has fronted the flagship nightly news programme, BBC News at Ten.  Presenting as a happily married family man, the father of five adult children has been the anchor for so many historic state events.  It was he who told me of the death of the Queen, sitting front and centre for the entire day …  The nation trusted him as, too, did his wife and family.  He chose to abuse that trust, his power; to throw it all away.

The original allegations are well-known now, although since his wife’s statement there have been several more.  Seemingly, he was in touch with a youth over the course of three years, paying £35,000 for sexually explicit photographs, inadvertently funding the young person’s drug habit.  No wonder the family took action.  Then, there were the threatening, abusive messages, the 23-year-old he found on a dating app and, supposedly, broke lockdown rules to meet … and more.  A sordid double life destined, always, to hurt the innocent, guilty, only, of loving him – his family.

I listened to Jeremy Vine on Radio 2, this morning, and, as so often, could only shake my head.  Jeremy knows Huw Edwards and his wife personally.  He was careful in his choice of words, perhaps understandably, but both he and those who phoned in focused, primarily, on the mental health issue; the fact that Huw Edwards is in hospital unwell.  No wonder he’s unwell!  Who wouldn’t be having been caught?  Exposed to the nation and his family for what he really is: a sleazy sexual predator – and a liar, to boot.  Hang on, though, he suffers from serious mental health issues.  Irrelevant.  Depression is no excuse for sexual deviance!  Deserving of sympathy, regardless?  An excellent broadcaster, his private life is nobody’s business?  My God, what is wrong with these people?!  One need only ask one question: how would they feel as the parents of a seventeen-year-old who was being paid thousands of pounds by Huw Edwards for sexually explicit photographs?  Still feeling the sympathy?!  Exactly.

Reading much of the coverage to date, it seems that Huw Edwards’ public persona was far from reality.   This scandal aside, he doesn’t sound like a very nice man.  On record as being angry at the 20% pay cut he took following the gender pay row, I came across many more quotes attributed to him suggesting an arrogance, a sharp tongue … a bit of a nasty person, or just ‘complicated’ as one of his friends described him!  Even now, it seems there is an absence of any remorse.  No thought for his family.  Rather, he is angry at The Sun and the coverage of his own corporation.  Here is a man who, by his own actions, engineered his own fall from grace.  He fell on his own sword, causing immeasurable hurt to others.  By all accounts, a devout Christian, has he no shame?

By the way, another question: how did the now 20-year-old in question afford a lawyer – latterly – to deny the allegations put forward by the family, citing them as ‘rubbish!’, and why would he bother?

Finally, as ever, grateful to Bev Turner – and Andrew Pierce – for being the voices of sanity amidst this cesspit of revelations.  Like me, on GB News this morning, Bev was furious at the inference that serious mental health issues were an excuse for the actions of this man.  Shameful.  Insulting.  Cowardly.  Moreover, it is no secret that a healthy bank balance can buy anyone a place of sanctuary in a private mental health institution …

I am Huw Edwards and this is my news at ten.’

Listen to Claudia, Radio 2 at 10am this Saturday.  He paid no thought to her, either!!

This is Trish, signing off.