Writer, journalist and broadcaster, Jenni Murray DBE, will chair the final judging panel which selects the overall winner of the prestigious 2012 Costa Book of the Year, it was announced today.
The Costa Book Awards recognise the most enjoyable books of the last year by writers based in the UK and Ireland.
Dame Jenni Murray will chair a panel which includes actress Jenny Agutter, actor and writer, Sophie Ward and broadcaster Katie Derham.
The five category judging panels are represented by author and comedian Mark Watson (First Novel Award), Wendy Holden (Novel), D.J. Taylor (Biography), Daljit Nagra (Poetry) and Marcus Sedgwick (Children’s Book Award).
The final judges will meet on Tuesday 29th January 2013 to select the winner of the Costa Book of the Year, which will be announced at an awards ceremony later that evening.
The ceremony, hosted by presenter and broadcaster Penny Smith, will take place at Quaglino’s in central London.
“Costa is delighted to have a final judging panel of such distinguished personalities, all of whom share a passion for great writing and a good read,” said Christopher Rogers, Managing Director at Costa. “It’s never an easy task to single out one Book of the Year which stands out above the rest, but we’re thrilled to have such a fine panel of strong-minded people to undertake the task this year.”
Former final judges have included Hugh Dennis, Elizabeth McGovern, David Morrissey, Rosamund Pike, Gary Kemp, Erin O’Connor, Alex James, Emilia Fox, Marie Helvin, Michael Morpurgo, Hugh Grant, Caroline Quentin, Ralph Fiennes, Jerry Hall, Ian Hislop, Jonathan Ross and Kirsty Young. Recent winners of the Book of the Year include Andrew Miller (2011), Jo Shapcott (2010), Christopher Reid (2009), Sebastian Barry (2008), A.L. Kennedy (2007), Stef Penney (2006), Hilary Spurling (2005), Andrea Levy (2004), Mark Haddon (2003), Kate Atkinson (1995), Philip Pullman, Seamus Heaney and the late Ted Hughes.
Each of the category award-winning authors receives £5,000 and the overall Costa Book of the Year winner will be presented with a cheque for £30,000.
This is the 41st year of the prize. This year, for the first time, the winner of the Costa Short Story Award – voted for by the general public – will also be announced at the awards ceremony.
For more information on this year’s Costa Book Awards, go to www.costabookawards.com