Page last updated at 09:59 GMT, Monday, 7 April 2008 10:59 UK

Allen leaves Orange judging panel

Lily Allen
Allen has sent her "sincere apologies" to her fellow panellists

Pop star Lily Allen has withdrawn "by mutual consent" from the judging panel of this year's Orange Prize for Fiction, blaming ill health.

"Lily had read extensively for the first stage of the judging process," said the singer's spokesperson.

However, he continued, she "recently found that she was unable to commit 100% to the role due to ill-health".

Kate Mosse, honorary director of the 30,000 prize, said she was "very sad" Allen could no longer participate.

"We're really sorry to be losing her at this stage," added broadcaster Kirsty Lang, chair of this year's panel.

'Disservice'

Allen's selection as one of the five female panellists raised eyebrows when it was announced last December.

The 22-year-old, best known for her hits Smile and LDN, suffered a miscarriage the following month.

Lily has put in a lot of work on the reading and brought a unique perspective to the judging process
Kirsty Lang

"Rather than do a disservice to what she sees as an incredible array of female literary talent, it has been agreed that she will withdraw before the final judging takes place," continued her representative.

"Lily hopes that her withdrawal will not detract from the huge importance of the Orange Prize and sends her sincere apologies to her fellow judges and to the individual authors."

Lang recognised Allen's contribution towards finalising this year's shortlist, to be announced next week.

"She has put in a lot of work on the reading and brought a unique perspective to the judging process," she said.

Allen has recently been seen on BBC Three hosting chat show Lily Allen and Friends.

The channel confirmed last week the show would return for a second series.

The winner of this year's Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction will be announced on 4 June.

Last year's prize was awarded to Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun.




SEE ALSO
Second series for Lily Allen show
01 Apr 08 |  Entertainment
Lily Allen suffers a miscarriage
18 Jan 08 |  Entertainment
Lily Allen to judge fiction prize
12 Dec 07 |  Entertainment
Author Adichie wins Orange Prize
06 Jun 07 |  Entertainment

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