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Thursday, 4 April, 2002, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
David Dimbleby chairs book prize
David Dimbleby
David Dimbleby presents Question Time
BBC presenter David Dimbleby will chair the judges for the Samuel Johnson prize, one of the country's leading non-fiction book awards.

Now sponsored by BBC Four, the corporation's new digital channel for arts and culture, the prize is in its fourth year.

Michael Burleigh won last year's prize
Michael Burleigh won last year's prize
It rewards the best of non-fiction, from biography to travel, and from popular science to the arts and current affairs.

The winner will receive 30,000 and each of the other shortlisted authors, 1,000.

Roly Keating, controller of BBC Four, said: "In the first year of sponsorship by the BBC it is wonderful to have someone of his calibre to both chair and present the BBC Four coverage of this high-profile prize."

Radical

The deal with the BBC will run over three years and the ceremony will be shown on digital channel BBC Four.

Last year's panel of judges was headed by BBC political editor Andrew Marr. The winner then was Michael Burleigh's The Third Reich: A New History.

The single volume work is a radical re-examination of the Third Reich, which charts the rise of Nazi Germany, recreating life under a totalitarian dictatorship.

The first winner in 1999 was Stalingrad by Antony Beevor.

BBC Four replaced BBC Knowledge on 2 March.

It runs from 1900 to 0100 nightly and is one of the corporation's three new non-subscription digital TV channels.

The other two are channels for children - CBBC for children aged six to 13, and CBeebies for those aged under six years.

Along with arts programmes, BBC Four shows documentaries and programmes covering science, history, news, debates and music.

The judges will be announced in the coming weeks.

See also:

08 Feb 02 | Arts
BBC Four to sponsor book prize
03 Apr 02 | TV and Radio
Dimblebys head royal coverage
18 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
BBC Four promises 'culture feast'
01 Feb 02 | Arts
Tracey Emin promotes BBC Four
22 May 01 | Arts
Johnson shortlist unveiled
04 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Whitbread winners square up
13 Jun 01 | Arts
Nazi history scoops book prize
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