Academic, literary historian and newspaper columnist Professor John Sutherland has been named chair of judges for the 2005 Booker Prize.
Prof Sutherland said he expected "surprises" in the judging process
He is professor of modern English literature at University College London and writes a column for The Guardian.
He has also written or edited 50 books ranging from critiques of classic novels to a book about alcoholism, partly based on his own experiences.
The shortlist for novel of the year will be announced in September 2005.
Prof Sutherland and his fellow judges will pick the shortlist from full works of fiction by Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland authors.
The winner will receive £50,000. Alan Hollinghurst won last year following victories by DBC Pierre in 2003 and Yann Martel in 2002.
"The judging process does not 'make' winners: it spots them, not always in the most obvious places," Prof Sutherland said.
"Fiction is a field in which Britain and the territories covered by the remit of Man-Booker excel.
"That excellence will be certified, yet again, in the 2005 competition. And, yet again, there will probably be surprises on the way."