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Evan Davis to chair Samuel Johnson Prize judging panel

Evan Davis
Davis said it was a 'large and exciting task' to chair the judges

Radio 4's Evan Davis is to preside over the judging panel for this year's BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.

The Today and Dragon's Den presenter is joined on the panel by Financial Times arts editor Jan Dalley and historian Stella Tillyard.

The award recognises the best non-fiction published in the UK, including biography, travel and popular science, the arts and current affairs.

The winner, to be announced in July, will receive a £20,000 prize.

Executive editor of The Times Daniel Finkelstein and science journalist, author and broadcaster Roger Highfield complete the judging panel.

"When you think of all the English language non-fiction books that are published each year, narrowing the field down to one winner is a formidable challenge," Davis said.

"In fact, it's such a large and exciting task, I'm telling my friends not to call me for the next six months."

The longlist of around 20 titles will be announced in April, with the shortlist of up to six titles revealed in May. Each of the shortlisted authors will also receive £1,000.

Last year's winner was Philip Hoare, who turned his lifelong fascination with whales into the acclaimed work Leviathan Or The Whale.

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