Page last updated at 14:52 GMT, Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Actress Pike on Costa Award panel

Rosamund Pike
Rosamund Pike starred in Die Another Day and Pride and Prejudice

Actress Rosamund Pike and broadcaster Michael Buerk have been named judges for the 2008 Costa Book Award.

Columnist and broadcaster Matthew Parris will chair the panel, which will also include actor Alexander Armstrong and newsreader Andrea Catherwood.

The shortlist of nominees in the five categories - best novel, first novel biography, poetry and children's - was announced in November.

The overall winner, announced on 27 January, will receive 25,000.

The winner of each category gets 5,000.

The award recognises the most enjoyable books of the last year by writers based in the UK and Ireland.

We're delighted to have such a fine panel of strong-minded people to undertake the task this year
John Derkach, Costa

Male writers dominate the shortlist for the best novel prize.

Chris Cleave, Sebastian Barry, Patrick McGrath and Louis de Bernieres - best known for Captain Corelli's Mandolin - will compete for the honour.

Poppy Adams, Sadie Jones, Jennie Rooney and Tom Rob Smith are all nominated in the best first novel.

The final judging panel selects the overall winner of the prestigious 2008 Costa Book of the Year, which was formally the Whitbread Prize.

Burke will also represent the biography category. The other four category judging panels are represented by writers Pauline McLynn (novel), Victoria Hislop (children's), Roger McGough (poetry) and Lisa Jewell (first novel).

Track record

They will meet on 27 January to select the overall winner, which will be announced at an awards ceremony later that evening.

The ceremony will be hosted for the third year in a row by journalist and broadcaster Mariella Frostrup, herself a final judge in 2004.

"The Costa Book Awards have an excellent track record of recognising and celebrating some of the very best and most enjoyable books of the last year," said John Derkach, managing director at Costa.

"It's never an easy task to single out one Book of the Year which stands out above the rest, but we're delighted to have such a fine panel of strong-minded people to undertake the task this year, all of whom are avid readers and passionate about books."

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