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Wednesday, 13 September, 2000, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK
Mercury joy for Badly Drawn Boy
Badly Drawn Boy
Badly Drawn Boy was the favourite for this year's prize
Badly Drawn Boy has won this year's Mercury Music Prize for his acclaimed debut album The Hour Of Bewilderbeast.

The 30-year-old musician, real name Damon Gough, was the hot favourite to claim the annual award after being backed down to 2/1 from 7/1.

He beat off the likes of Coldplay and former Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft to take the 20,000 cheque.

Parachutes failed to open for Coldplay

After receiving the envelope from Jools Holland at London's Grosvenor Hotel, Gough tossed it casually on the floor, before quipping: "I always assumed I was never going to win because good things don't happen to good people normally."

He looked shocked when the announcement was made and as he left his seat admitted: "I am not calling myself a winner - I'm just someone put up here to shake like a leaf."

In a reference to last year's winner, Talvin Singh, he joked: "Talvin, how's your year been, mate - better or worse than before?"

The Manchester performer, who climbed on stage wearing his trademark woolly hat and smoking a cigarette, paid tribute to rivals Coldplay, whose album Parachutes was second favourite to win the prize.

World Cup

I'm not like Lauryn Hill saying it's a gift from God. I'll go home tomorrow and I can't write for toffee

Badly Drawn Boy star Damon Gough

"They haven't shut up about me, bless them, and Doves (who were also in contention) have been friends of mine for five or six years."

He added: "Where do you go from here? - It's not the World Cup, but you know..."

Badly Drawn Boy impressed judges with the diverse range of styles on The Hour Of Bewilderbeast - from indie to cocktail jazz.

But Gough was not getting carried away by his success, remarking: "It seems fickle to say but I do not know how to make a song. I'm not like Lauryn Hill saying it's a gift from God. I'll go home tomorrow and I can't write for toffee.

Kathryn Williams
Smiles better: Kathryn Williams clutches her nomination prize

"I'm never getting any better than when I was 18 years old. I still worry about the next level but I thrive on it. I want to go on to the next album and on to the tenth."

Modesty aside, sales of the 18-track album are certain to rocket on the back of his success.

Other contenders in the 12-strong field for the prize, now in its ninth year, included garage star MJ Cole, dance gurus Leftfield and Newcastle folk singer Kathryn Williams.

Primal Scream, Suede and Pulp are among past winners.

  • Visitors to the Mercury Music Prize's website on Wednesday morning found it had been hacked into and altered, apparently by a little-known band seeking to publicise a forthcoming concert.

    Spoof news items on the site included the 'revelation' that "80s chart sensations Buggles have been commissioned to write the theme tune to the awards for the knock-down price of 150".

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    See also:

    13 Sep 00 | Entertainment
    The man behind the Boy
    12 Sep 00 | Entertainment
    Badly Drawn Boy award favourite
    13 Sep 00 | Entertainment
    In pictures: Mercury Music Prize
    25 Jul 00 | Entertainment
    Coldplay head Mercury list
    17 Jul 00 | Entertainment
    Nitin's subversive sounds
    09 Sep 99 | Entertainment
    Newcomer wins top music prize
    09 Sep 99 | Entertainment
    Talvin Singh: Closing the divide
    05 Aug 00 | New Music Releases
    CD Review: MJ Cole
    09 Jul 00 | New Music Releases
    CD Review: Coldplay
    16 Apr 00 | New Music Releases
    CD Review: The Delgados
    25 Jun 00 | New Music Releases
    CD Review: Richard Ashcroft
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