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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 December, 2004, 16:09 GMT
Hugh Grant joins Whitbread panel
Hugh Grant
Hugh Grant is on a panel with Sir Trevor McDonald
Actor Hugh Grant is to help judge the prestigious Whitbread Book of the Year, organisers have announced.

Grant will join ITN news reader Sir Trevor McDonald, who is panel chairman, to find the best of five books.

They will have been chosen from a shortlist of works in five categories, which include titles by authors such as Louis de Bernieres and Andrea Levy.

Category winners will be named on 6 January, with an overall winner chosen on 25 January, winning 25,000

Also on the judging panel will be broadcaster Mariella Frostrup, Conservative MP Michael Portillo and former Labour Party deputy Roy Hattersley.

They will judge from titles in the categories of poetry, biography, novel, first novel and children's books.

Alan Hollinghurst
Booker winner Hollinghurst is first competing in the novel category

This year's Booker winner Alan Hollinghurst is competing to win the novel category for The Line of Beauty.

He is up against literary stars such as previous Whitbread winner Kate Atkinson, and Orange Prize winner Andrea Levy in the novel category.

The first novel group includes Susanna Clarke, Richard Collins, Susan Fletcher and Panos Karnezis.

The children's category features an all-female shortlist. Among the books in the section are Meg Rosoff's How I Live Now and Annie Cassidy's Looking for JJ.

The biography category covers subjects including Mary Queen of Scots by John Guy and poet Stephen Spender by John Sutherland.

Competing in the poetry category are Leonita Flynn, John Fuller, Matthew Hollis and Michael Symmons Roberts.

The category winners will each receive 5,000 in prize money.

Last year's book of the year award went to Mark Haddon for his debut novel The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time.





SEE ALSO:
Booker winner up for Whitbread
09 Nov 04 |  Entertainment
Hollinghurst takes Booker Prize
19 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
Review: The Line of Beauty
14 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
Levy 'thrilled' by Orange award
09 Jun 04 |  Entertainment
Facing life as a Booker winner
20 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
The curious tale of author Haddon
07 Jan 04 |  Entertainment


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