Oldest press club appoints first woman chair

TV and radio presenter to take charge.

The world’s oldest Press Club, founded in Birmingham more than 150 years ago, has appointed its first woman chairman.

Media personality Llewela Bailey is to succeed Heart breakfast show presenter Ed James, who is stepping down after four years in office because of increased pressure on his broadcasting and business commitments.

Ed, who has been a director of Birmingham Press Club for ten years, said: “The club is part of the fabric of the city and is held in very high regard both in Birmingham and indeed across the UK. The quality of its events and calibre of guest speakers is testament to the hard work and dedication of its board of directors and for that I thank each and every one of them.”

He added: “We are officially the oldest press club in the world but today we are probably more relevant and important than we’ve ever been both for the industry and indeed the wider city. Birmingham is booming and the press club is ideally placed to drive the agenda and really capitalise on the energy and investment happening in our city at the moment.”

Llewela Bailey, who previously used to co-present ITV Central News alongside Press Club president Bob Warman, said: “Having been involved with the Press Club as a member of the Board for a number of years I am absolutely thrilled at becoming the club’s first woman chairman.”

Now the host of BBC Radio WM’s Sunday Breakfast show and a part-time lecturer with Staffordshire University’s Journalism Department, Llewela added that her aims would include engaging more with media students, strengthening links with academia and promoting events that will appeal to next-generation journalists and broadcasters.

Llewela has been a member of the Press Club for 20 years and a Board member for the past eleven years.

Oliver Wall, Head of External Affairs at HSBC UK, which announced a sponsorship deal to support the Birmingham Press Club earlier this year, said: “Many congratulations to Llewela on taking over the helm of the Club in what is a ground-breaking appointment. We look forward to working with Llewela and her team in the future.”