Husband of married BBC star Sophie Long 'devastated' after she dumps him for newsreader Tim Willcox (who's a married father of four)
Top newsreaders 'fall in love' and confess relationship to their partnersBBC bans couple from reading news together after scandal emerges
Father-of-four Tim Willcox played trumpet at Sophie's wedding in 2010
21:52 GMT, 26 November 2012
The cuckolded husband of BBC newsreader Sophie Long was last night said to be devastated after she dumped him for her co-presenter.
Miss Long, 35, is having an affair with colleague Tim Willcox, who is also married.
Both broadcasters work for the BBC News 24 channel, and a source yesterday suggested they had now been banned from appearing together on screen.
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Lovebirds: Tim Willcox and Sophie Long have allegedly told their partners about the affair and are smitten
Philandering 49-year-old Willcox has
been married for 17 years and has four school-age children with his wife
Sarah, also 49. Miss Long’s betrayed husband, Will Green, 35, was her
childhood sweetheart and they wed only two summers ago in a waterfront
ceremony in Cornwall.
Last night he was returning from a business trip in Central America, according to a colleague.
A friend said he was devastated by the collapse of his marriage.
‘Will is the nicest bloke in the
world, really into his sport and fun to be with,’ said the friend. ‘His
whole family are such a close-knit and lovely bunch of people. He is a
very stable and reliable guy. He will maintain his dignity in all this.’
It is understood Miss Long and Willcox informed their respective partners ‘a couple of months ago’ the marriages were over.
Close: Tim Willcox, 49, and Sophie Long, 35, have found themselves smitten with each other despite both being married to other people
As revealed by the Daily Mail’s
Richard Kay column yesterday, Willcox told his wife he had fallen
hopelessly in love with his younger colleague.
Yesterday Mrs Willcox
looked tired and devastated as she answered the door of the family’s
700,000 riverside home in an Oxfordshire village.
Mrs Willcox, who is clerk of the
parish council and also a director of his company Tim Willcox Limited,
politely declined to comment.
Her mother, Jacqueline Harding, asked
about her son-in-law’s conduct, said: ‘I wouldn’t say anything about
Tim’s behaviour.’ The foursome will be deciding in the next few weeks
who will be living where.
Childhood sweethearts: Sophie Long, pictured right, is married to Will Green, left
So happy: Sophie Long and Will Green on their wedding day in Cornwall in June 2010
Wedding by the sea: BBC presenter Sophie Long and her yacht salesman husband Will Green on their wedding day
Miss Long and Mr Green have put their stunning end-of-terrace Georgian cottage in Plymouth on the market for 335,000.
Mr Green works in Plymouth as sales director for a luxury yacht brokerage firm, Princess Yachts International.
At their wedding in June 2010, Willcox was one of the guests – having become close to Miss Long as they worked together.
The silver-haired newsreader, a former
member of the British Youth Orchestra, even serenaded the happy couple
on his trumpet. BBC presenter Jon Sopel was another guest.
Miss Long is believed to keep a
one-bed flat in West London within walking distance of BBC Television
There was no answer at the flat yesterday and the blinds were
Born in Torquay in 1977 and raised in
Weston-super-Mare, Miss Long graduated from King’s College, London, with
a degree in war studies.
After working as an election monitor in
Cambodia, she returned to the UK where she worked for Reuters news
agency and ITN.
In 2000, she won the first Jill Dando
BBC bursary which enabled her to study broadcast journalism, and she
went on to work for BBC Radio Cornwall and then Midlands Today.
Country home: The family home of Sarah and Tim Willcox inWootton by Woodstock, Oxfordshire
Closed gates: Sarah and Tim Willcox live with their four children in the Oxfordshire countryside. Mrs Willcox is the clerk to the parish council
City crash pad: The West London flat belonging to BBC presenter Sophie Long. The family home she was sharing with her husband is in Plymouth
moved to the BBC News channel as a presenter and correspondent.
included touring with Nick Clegg in the run-up to the 2010 general
Willcox presents on the BBC News 24
and BBC World channels.
A friend said: ‘He is very charming and has lots
of female fans but he is also very honourable so all this will have
been very difficult for him.’
A Durham university Spanish graduate,
Willcox started his career on a Sunday newspaper. He worked as a
presenter for ITN before moving to the BBC.
In September 2010, not long after he
attended Miss Long’s wedding, he was sent to Chile to report on the
rescue of 33 trapped miners.
He was praised for his live coverage and became a pin-up for the miners’ wives.
In 2011, he reported from Japan on the country’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Last night the BBC said the situation with Miss Long and Mr Willcox was a ‘personal matter’.
A spokesman added: ‘They haven’t been banned from appearing together because they aren’t paired to be on screen.’
Affair: Tim Willcox, seen here with fellow presenter Emily Maitlis, has fallen head over heels for BBC journalist Sophie Long
Born in 1963, Tim was educated at Taunton School in Somerset and St Chad's College, Durham University, where he read Spanish.
He began his career in newspapers with stints at both Mirror Group Newspapers and Fleet Street News Agency.
He worked for ITN News as a presenter and correspondent, first as Art and Media Correspondent.
After joining ITN's news team, Tim presented the network's live reports from New York City during the city's terror attacks on 9/11
Tim then joined the BBC as an anchor with the BBC News Channel.
Career highlights at the BBC have included his reports from the collapsed Chilean mine in 2010, and reports from the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
Born in Torquay in 1977 and raised in Weston-super-Mare, Sophie graduated from Kings College, London, with a degree in war studies.
After working as an election monitor in Cambodia, she returned to the UK where she worked for Reuters news agency and ITN.
In 2000 Sophie won the first Jill Dando BBC bursary which enabled her to study broadcast journalism at University College, Falmouth.
After graduating from there, she worked for BBC Radio Cornwall and on the local BBC regional news progamme Spotlight, and then Midlands Today.
Sophie presented the South West issue of The Politics Show before moving to the BBC News Channel as stand-in presenter and correspondent.
Memorable moments include touring with Nick Clegg in the run-up to the 2010 general election.
VIDEO: Tim and Sophie appear on BBC News together in 2008