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World’s oldest press club appoints first female chairman

The world’s oldest press club has appointed the first female chairman in more than a century-and-a-half.

The Birmingham Press Club has announced the appointment of Llewela Bailey to the role, taking over from incumbent Ed James.

Llewela used to co-present ITV Central News alongside Press Club president Bob Warman, and currently hosts BBC Radio WM’s Sunday Breakfast show as well as lecturing part-time with Staffordshire University’s journalism department.

Her aims for the club include engaging more with media students, strengthening links with academia and promoting events that will appeal to next-generation journalists and broadcasters.

Llewela Bailey, right, with predecessor Ed James

Llewela Bailey, right, with predecessor Ed James

Llewela has been a member of the club for 20 years and a board member for the past 11 years.

Ed, who is stepping down after four years in office because of increased pressure on his broadcasting and business commitments, has welcomed his successor to the role.

He 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.”

“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 added: “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.”