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Fleet Street journalist to return to old patch for awards

Entrants to this year’s Midlands Media Awards will find themselves under the scrutiny of Fleet Street’s finest, with the announcement that The Times’ Andrew Pierce has joined the contest’s judging panel.

The assistant editor will also be acting as a compere for the event, which has had a record number of entries this year.

Andrew, (43), began his career in the regional press, joining the Gloucestershire Echo after leaving school in 1979.

In 1983 he moved to the Birmingham Post and Mail, and after a spell as a freelance on a number of Fleet Street titles, he joined The Thunderer in 1988, where he was variously a diarist, news reporter and parliamentary correspondent.

Between 1996 and 1998 he was lobby correspondent for the Times and after a brief spell at Express newspapers, he returned to the Times as assistant editor, specialising in the royals and politics.

He said: “It’s an honour to be asked to judge the work of some of the best journalists around who operate in one of the toughest news areas in Britain.”

Andrew Sparrow, chairman of the Birmingham Press Club, which organises the event, said: “It’s a major coup for the Midlands Media Awards to get Andrew Pierce as judge and compere.

“This is the first time someone from Fleet Street has been asked to act as a judge, and it will be interesting to see how he rates the standard of journalism in a region he once worked in himself.”

The closing date for entries has now passed, and a shortlist is expected to be announced soon.

Winners will be revealed during a ceremony at University of Birmingham’s Great Hall on April 21.