This post started out as a different animal altogether, but between typing the title (originally - my midlife crisis is here!) and getting to the end of the first paragraph, Huw Edwards was revealed (on his behalf, by his wife) to be The BBC Presenter at the centre of The S*n's story about photographs of a sexual nature being paid for.
And I just felt so sad.
Edwards is in hospital where his mental health is buckling - as you might expect after being outed by The S*n. The statement confirming that he is the much-speculated presenter was made by his wife.
I am glad that his wife was the one to make the statement (he clearly isn't in a position to do so) and it gives his family some element of control over the narrative - his wife isn't sitting at home keeping dutifully silent and one would hope that after nearly a week his five children have now got their heads wrapped around what is going down.
I am not here to troll or gloat over what has happened. There but for the grace of god go I. We are all entitled to a private life - so long as we don't break the law while we're living it. At the moment it seems that he hasn't broken the law (maybe breaching covid lockdown rules). We don't know everything and I hope people won't be too quick to judge anybody in this scenario other than the ghastly S*n newspaper.
Remember - those paragons of virtue at The S*n used to count down the days until their favourite boobilicious page 3 girls hit 16 years of age.
My reaction also depends what kind of creature we've got here: It wasn't too long ago that we had Philip Schofield coming out as gay to nationwide sympathy and then a few breaths later, looking for all the world like a child-abuser at worst or someone who was prepared to collude with a child-abuser at best.
But if what we've got is simply a closeted gay man who likes younger guys? That's not exactly news, is it? The world is full of older people who prefer younger people's bodies - it's not the end of the world. It's horrendous for his wife and children - but should be PRIVATE to them.
And it would seem that the first young man was not responsible for outing Huw, but his mother. And for a mother to take her story to the press instead of the police, well, I have my doubts about the intentions behind that - but maybe I'm being too unkind.
Another young man has come forward and produced emails where Edwards is splenetic at the thought of this young man outing him on Twitter. To be honest, I'd be fucking livid as well.
But what possesses a man who is in the public eye to take such risks? You cannot be telly-famous in the UK and put yourself onto 'dating' sites (I don't know whether they all met on a dating site, a paid content site or on a gay forum etc) and not expect there to be a high risk of something going catastrophically wrong.
Perhaps we can assume that he was listed there under a username or handle that was not his real name and did not load up photos that would identify him to casual viewers. Perhaps he only revealed who he was to those he had struck up private correspondence with and grew to trust ... slipping into the DMs as they say. Oh Huw - it seems that you misjudged your security with at least one of them.
I feel so sorry for his wife and family in all this, blind-sided by their loved one having (we assume) a completely closeted Other Life. The shock, the betrayal, it will pile in on them for months as each of them replays a million different events and conversations as they look for signs and the realisation that when dad said/did this, it was really THAT. None of that is anybody's business but theirs.
Huw Edwards is not squeaky clean. Truth is, nobody is.We all have our private worlds and foibles and mostly they harm nobody. More stuff might come out and I might change my mind - but as it stands today - consenting adults did something sexual. The world is FULL of that. Meanwhile, our former PM can't share his Whatsapp messages because he's 'forgotten' the log-in details. HE'S a criminal. But hey ho, let's fire up the torches and grab the pitch forks and go for somebody different instead. It's a mess.
I just hope Edwards and his family get the help and support they need.
And I hope The S*n finally sets in the west and Liverpool gets the last long and hollow laugh.