April 7, 2008 12:22

Lily Allen quits book judging panel due to 'ill health' Lily Allen Tickets

Singer won't be judging the Orange Prize For Fiction

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Lily Allen has withdrawn from her role as a judge for the Orange Prize For Fiction, citing "health issues" as the reason for her withdrawal.

Allen's spokesperson explained that while the singer had been reading books as part of the first stage of the judging process, but "ill health" meant she was not able to fully commit to her role.

The singer was one of five judges on the panel for the award for women writers.

The announcement of her role was criticised when it was made last December, with some suggesting that her non-literary background made her unsuitable for the role.

Officials behind the prize, including honorary director Kate Mosse and broadcaster Kirsty Lang, chair of this year's judging panel, said they were sorry to be losing Allen at this stage in proceedings, reports BBC News.

Her spokesperson said: "Rather than do a disservice to what she [Allen] sees as an incredible array of female literary talent, it has been agreed that she will withdraw before the final judging takes place.

"Lily hopes that her withdrawal will not detract from the huge importance of the Orange Prize and sends her sincere apologies to her fellow judges and to the individual authors."

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