Authors Pandora Sykes (pictured), Jay Rayner and Louise Candlish join former MP Luciana Berger, journalist Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, broadcaster Tina Daheley, and the BBC's Director of Arts Jonty Claypole as judges of this year’s British Book Awards (a.k.a. the Nibbies).
The High Low podcast co-host Pandora Sykes will help judge the Overall Book of the Year alongside Berger, TLS editor Stig Abell, and Jasper Sutcliffe, head of buying at Foyles. Other books judges this year include the founders of the Black Girls Book Club Natalie A Carter and Melissa Cummings-Quarry; author and broadcaster Lloyd Grossman; Pin Drop Studio founder Simon Oldfield; CBeebies Bedtime Stories writer and director Kayleigh Keam; broadcaster Jim Naughtie; booksellers Rosamund de la Hey, David Headley and Robert Topping; Waterstones children's buyer Florentyna Martin and Blackwell's sales and marketing director Phil Henderson; commercial strategist and former W H Smith head of books Pete Selby; Stylist books editor Fran Brown and Mostly Lit podcast presenter Raifa Rafiq.
Claypole joins past publishers Victoria Barnsley and Ursula Mackenzie as judges for the trade categories. Other judges for these categories, including Publisher of Year, and Book Retailer of the Year, include London Library director Philip Marshall; Welsh Books Council c.e.o. Helgard Krause; Robertson Murray Literary Agency m.d. Charlotte Robinson and Sandy Mahal, director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature.
The Bookseller’s editor Philip Jones said: "Once again the calibre and breadth of the judges across all the awards shows the importance of these awards to the trade and the British public. With Brexit a reality, there has never been a more important moment to show the country and beyond these brilliant works.”
This year marks 30 years of the awards celebrating the best books, the best bookshops and the best publishers.
Rayner, who returns to the Nibbies after judging last year, said: "I'm thrilled to have been asked to judge the lifestyle category of the British Book Awards once again. These are cracking awards, with a great night out attached. The quality, thoughtfulness and and care taken over this sort of publishing deserves to be fully recognised."
Keam, who will help judge the Children's Illustrated category, added: "With writing for children comes great responsibility. Books have the power to shape how children view the world and everyone within it. Our authors are the boundary breakers and imagination makers. Judging the children's category for the British Book Awards is hands down one of the proudest moments of my life."
This year’s ceremony takes place on 18th May 2020 at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel in London and will be compered once again by the DJ and television presenter Lauren Laverne.
The full list of 2020 judges can be viewed here.