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Evan Davis to chair BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction

5th February 2010

Journalist and economist Evan Davis has been named as the chair of the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction's judging panel.

The BBC presenter will be joined by Financial Times arts editor Jan Dalley, science journalist Roger Highfield, historian Stella Tillyard and Daniel Finkelstein, executive editor of The Times.

Founded in 1999, the award has a top prize of GBP 20,000 and aims to recognise the UK's best non-fiction in genres such as biography, travel, current affairs, the arts and popular science.

Davis commented: '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.'

The longlist of around 20 books will be announced in April, with the six-title shortlist confirmed in May. The winners will be named in early July at an event in central London.

Leviathan or The Whale by Philip Hoare won the 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, with chair of judges Jacob Weisberg saying the 'prose is dream-like and rises to the condition of literature'.

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