TV personality to chair media awards judges

200 entries received for Midlands media honours.

Television personality Suzanne Virdee, who plays a TV newsreader in a new movie featuring Games of Thrones actor Kit Harington, is lined up for another ‘starring role’ – this time as chairman of the Midlands Media Awards’ judging panel.

Suzanne, who started her career as a reporter with the Birmingham Post & Mail, heads a panel of experienced journalists and communications specialists who will scrutinise a shortlist of entries after an initial judging by a panel of 40 professionals.

Joining Suzanne on the final judging panel will be Llewela Bailey, chairman of Birmingham Press Club, former Sports Journalist of the Year Martin Swain now director of communications at West Bromwich Albion FC, Dan Barton, head of corporate communications with West Midlands Police, Peter Brookes, senior lecturer in sports journalism at Staffordshire University, Tony Adams, chairman of the Birmingham & Coventry branch of the National Union of Journalists, Conor Rees, editor of 99 Percent Lifestyle and last year’s winner of the Midlands Media Students Awards, Justice Williams MBE, editor in chief of City & Style magazine and Phil Brown, founder-editor of community newspaper HEM Life. Also joining them will be photographers John James and Marc Kirsten and Clive Reeves, managing director of Clive Reeves PR.

An award-winning television presenter, who co-hosted BBC Midlands Today for eleven years, Suzanne is now a presenter/reporter with ITV London. She also has her own production company and is the author of A Teenage Girl’s Guide to Being Fabulous, which tackles sexism and violence against girls.

Press Club chairman Llewela Bailey said: “Suzanne is a very knowledgeable and talented journalist and she brings a further wealth of experience to the judging panel.”

More than 200 entries have been received for the awards, which recognise the achievements of the region’s journalists, broadcasters, photographers and bloggers over the past 12 months.

Headline sponsor is global bank HSBC, which is currently building a new national head office in Birmingham city centre to serve its personal and business customers. Nigel Hinshelwood, head of UK and deputy chief executive of HSBC, which is set to have one of the biggest workforces in Birmingham, employing more than 3,500 staff by mid-2017, said: “Having just signed a three-year sponsorship package with the Press Club, we look forward to being associated for the first time with such a prestigious event. The media awards have been an important part of the Press Club calendar for many years and I am sure that this year’s entries will again reflect the professionalism of journalists from throughout the East and West Midlands.”

With 22 categories ranging from Newspaper of the Year to Blogger of the Year, the awards are to take place at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre on Thursday, October 20. Further details, and how to book your place at the awards, can be found by logging onto

• And that new movie? Scheduled for release next year, it’s called The Death and Life of John F. Donovan and also stars Natalie Portman, Susan Sarandon and Michael Gambon. Suzanne was flown to Montreal for four days – where she filmed three lines of dialogue, playing a TV newsreader.

One thought on “TV personality to chair media awards judges

  1. :HSBC: “Having just signed a three-year sponsorship package with the Press Club….” Well that should ensure some benign media coverage for them then…nothing like a fearless, independent media is there!

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