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Deputy editor swaps Bedfordshire for Bahrain

A regional Sunday newspaper deputy editor is heading for another ‘life-changing experience’ after swapping Middle England for the Middle East.

Bedfordshire on Sunday’s deputy editor Liz O’Reilly, left, recently answered an advert on HoldtheFrontPage for a job working for the biggest-selling English-language newspaper in Bahrain.

The upshot was that she will be joining editor Stan Szecowka as deputy of Gulf Weekly next week.

It will not be the first time that Liz, 43, has taken a dramatic plunge into the unknown – she enjoyed a brush with fame when she appeared on Channel 4’s Ten Years Younger, in which a team of experts attempt to take years off someone’s age in a few weeks.

“I love a challenge and the Middle East is the place to be at the moment – and I like living on the edge!” said Liz, who trained at the Aldershot News and Mail.

Regional newspaper veteran Stan, 49, said: “Liz is a quality journalist and will help me guide our young team of enthusiastic reporters to greater things. I’m hoping she’ll give me some tips about looking ten years younger too.”

Since Stan took over as editor of Gulf Weekly in January 2007, the glossy newspaper has increased pagination to 48 pages, increased sales in Bahrain by nine per cent year on year and doubled the number of hits to its sister website to more than 430,000 a month.

He is currently running a photographic competition in which the first prize is a job as a trainee news photographer on the newspaper.

He claims Gulf Weekly is the only newspaper in the world to boast a hooped masthead – which celebrates national carrier Gulf Air’s recent three-year shirt sponsorship of English Championship side Queens Park Rangers.

Stan was formerly deputy editor of Northcliffe’s Bristol Evening Post before leaving in 2006 and setting up a short-lived weekly title, the Clifton Chronicle, as a rival to his old paper.