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Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 11:06 UK
Backstage at the Mercury Prize

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Newsbeat reporter Kev Geoghegan is backstage at the Mercury Prize

The Grosvenor House Hotel in central London is a hive of activity as the final preparations are made for the Nationwide Mercury Prize which is being held there later.

The 12 nominees for the prestigious prize include Radiohead, Adele, Elbow and Estelle.

Estelle told Newsbeat: "I was in the middle of a heavy radio tour in the US and they were like, 'You've been nominated for a Mercury'.

"I was in the middle of somewhere like Arizona, jumping up and down in the heat and the thunderstorms at the same time, like 'Oh my God'.

"It was a good surprise."

The award has a reputation for throwing up surprise winners, like last year when Amy Winehouse was left empty-handed in favour of Klaxons.

Estelle added: "This is an industry award. And people voting who are critics, real critics.

"But they listened to it [the album] past American Boy. People actually love it and like it, and get what I'm saying on the album."

The winner walks away with a cheque for 20,000 but Guy from Elbow says there's no point putting any money on them.

He said: "The book's been closed on Elbow. My friend Saul got far too overexcited and tried to put five grand on us winning, which I told him not to do repeatedly.

"The bookies got nervous and now you can't get odds on us at all."

There's coverage of the Mercury Prize with Zane Lowe and Colin Murray on Radio 1 from 7pm, and on BBC2 at 10pm.



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