The comedian said the whole drama was a “very sad story” for everyone involved – but said the news presenter hasn’t broken the law, despite being “very foolish” if the accusations are true.
When asked by Farage if The Sun newspaper – which broke the original story alleging Mr Edwards had paid £35,000 to a teenager for sexually explicit photographs – was right not to name him, Jim said: “I think he wasn’t named because various people in the media were frightened because they were getting this story out there before all of the facts were there.
“It’s a sad story. I don’t think we know the half of it. And if you look online, everyone is an expert.
“Everyone has an idea. Is it a girl? Is it a boy? What did he do?
“But the fact is that the police have said he did not break the law. And now he is in a mental institution and will be suffering terrible shame.”
Jim spoke about the Operation Yewtree investigation which saw him endure a year of hell after he was arrested over allegations of sexual assault but resulted in no further action being taken and no charges ever being brought.
He said: “I went through this for a year. I was arrested but never charged. I always remember these words as I was walked to the police station, and it was still scary. This policeman said, ‘Don’t worry Jim, yours is not underage sex, yours is just some old slappers’ and I thought, ‘Oh well, fair enough then…that’s taken the pain away a bit’.
“But the pain does not really go. It’s the not knowing what other people are doing.”
There were days of speculation over the identity of the BBC news presenter following The Sun’s exclusive story last week, before his own wife released a statement naming him and revealing he was now suffering from serious mental health issues and receiving in-patient care. Since the original story was published, Mr Edwards has been hit by fresh allegations that he sent “inappropriate messages” to BBC staff.
Jim told Nigel Farage: “I’m down here in Torquay and I got some fish and chips and threw a bit on the floor and a million seagulls turned up and devoured it. That’s what is going to happen now. Everyone is going to want a bit of this story for their own reasons.
“When I was arrested, I was accused of breaking the law. Huw Edwards has not been accused of breaking the law but it is the accusations that do the damage.
“The Sun newspaper, which I actually quite love, will just wring their hands and they won’t care. They will put the story away and get on with the next one.
“Me and my manager used to get up at 3am to get the newspapers to find out if I could go home to the current wife!
“IF these accusations are true then he was foolish and he made a mistake. It is sad, sad for his wife, just so so sad.”