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Columnist suffering dementia awarded press club life membership

Ed DoolanA former regional daily columnist now suffering from dementia has been awarded honorary life membership of a press club he was once barred from joining.

The Birmingham Press Club gave the honour to Ed Doolan, pictured left, who has written more than 950 weekly columns for the Birmingham Mail, at its Christmas lunch.

Australian-born radio journalist Ed worked for Birmingham’s BRMB station before joining BBC West Midlands.

Prior to that, he worked in Germany for Radio Deutsche Welle.

After revealing he had been living with dementia for the past two years in January, Ed stopped broadcasting live on radio.

However, his pre-recorded interviews and programmes are still aired every Sunday and he continued to write his Birmingham Mail columns until recently.

Recalling his first encounter with the press club, he told the lunch: “It was in March 1973. I turned up at a Press Club meeting and they told me I couldn’t join.

“They said I worked in radio – and wasn’t a journalist! Anyway, I kept going back and eventually did join when I produced my German Press Card.”

Tributes to Ed at the lunch were led by Press Club chairman Ed James, who described him as a “true legend” of the industry.

The lunch was held at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre and attended by more than 130 guests, including the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Raymond Hassall and four former chairmen of the Press Club, Gerry Armes, Terry Field, John James and Jerry Johns.


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  • December 21, 2015 at 10:29 am

    I am delighted Ed has got this award. He wrote an excellent column for me when I was an editor in Birmingham in the 1980s. He has a great sense of humour. Happy Christmas Ed.

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  • December 21, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    I am so delighted to learn that Mr Doolan has finally got this award. I will remember him in my daily prayers

    Many thanks to Ed James for sharing this news with us.

    May the Lord Almighty be with Mr Doolan always.

    Wish him a very merry Christmas.

    Maitreyee Sarcar HF FRSA [Mrs],
    Co-Producer & Co-Presenter of Surtarang Broadcast worldwide.

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  • December 22, 2015 at 6:14 am

    Funny how they first turned down his application all those years ago because he worked in radio. The current chairman is a radio DJ.

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  • December 22, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Yeah Paul Jenkins, and most of the membership is made up of PR people because there are hardly any journalists left in Birmingham and those that are, are too damn busy to get to any press club events or meetings

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