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Last Updated:  Monday, 10 March, 2003, 00:52 GMT
Booker judges unveiled
Rebecca Stephens
Rebecca Stephens has written about her mountaineering feats
A mountaineer and a philosopher are included on the judging panel for this year's Booker Prize.

Journalist Rebecca Stephens, who has written about climbing Everest, is one of the five judges revealed on Friday.

Professor John Carey, also a critic and author, will become the only person to chair the judging panel twice.

The other judges are the writer and philosopher Anthony Grayling, novelist and broadcaster Francine Stock and novelist David Taylor.

Professor Carey is one of the country's leading literary critics and spent 25 years as English professor at Oxford University.

Francine Stock
Stock is a presenter of BBC Radio 4's arts magazine, Front Row
He said: "The judging panel should reflect the widest possible range of experience and taste, compatible with wanting to read 150 books very fast.

"I think we meet those requirements pretty well - better than last time I was in the chair, when we lacked both a philosopher and mountaineer."

He presided over the award of the 1982 prize to Thomas Kenneally for Schindler's Ark.

Dr Anthony Grayling is a fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford, and the author of a number of acclaimed books on philosophy as well as a critically acclaimed biography of William Hazlitt.

Everest record

Francine Stock was a reporter and presenter on Newsnight for five years, with frequent foreign assignments.

Her novel A Foreign Country was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award in 1999.

In 1993, Rebecca Stephens became the first British woman to climb Everest and the following year went on to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents.

David Taylor
Taylor is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
She has written a book on her ascent of Everest, On Top of the World, and a children's book entitled Everest.

David Taylor is the author of five novels and he reviews regularly for a variety of newspapers and magazines.

The prize, now backed by financial services group Man, established in 1968, is open to novels written in 2003 by any citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.

The longlist of 25 titles will be announced in August and the shortlist in September.

The judges will announce the winner at an awards dinner in October.

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