Why was Lily Allen dropped from judging the Orange Prize?
Lily Allen has been dropped from judging on the Orange Prize panel after failing to turn up to meetings.
The 22-year-old singer was controversially appointed last year to be on the judging panel for the literary prize and at the time critics said serious writers had been overlooked for the panel in favour of a celebrity.
The chairman of this year’s panel, Kirsty Lang, still insisted Lily was a good choice of judge, claiming critics of the appointment were ‘being snobby and elitist’.
Speaking to The Times, Lang commented: ‘Life got in the way. She lost a baby, her boyfriend left her and she was launching a new TV show. She was under a hell of a lot of pressure of judging a major book prize on top of everything else too much.’
Lang described Lily as a ‘wordsmith’ saying: ‘She reads, she writes her own songs.’ However, Lily drew up the longlist for the awards over the phone and reportedly missed a couple of crucial meetings.
Now the judging panel includes Lisa Allardice, review editor of The Guardian, the novelist Philippa Gregory and novelist and journalist Bel Mooney.
The Orange Prize winner will be announced at the Royal Festival Hall in London on 4 June.