The Dizzee and Lily Show is becoming one of the staple double acts of the modern British music scene. First they became the standout male and female solo artists of their generation – garnering critical and commercial success in equal measure. Then this year, they made off with his-and-hers-matching Brits before embarking on a series of dual headline concerts together. Now they look set to dominate yet another prestigious music awards ceremony, this time for songwriting, after being nominated yesterday in four categories for the 55th annual Ivor Novello Awards.
Allen's sweetly scathing single "The Fear", which spent four weeks at No 1 in the UK chart, made it to the shortlist in two categories, including one for the most played track.
Dizzee, who has been busy this year completing his odyssey from east London grime outlaw to unlikely national treasure, was nominated for best contemporary song for "Bonkers" and for best album for Tongue N'Cheek. He will compete in the contemporary song category against Bat for Lashes and La Roux.
Patrick Rackow, the chief executive of Basca, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, which hands out the sought-after prizes, praised the "mix of established and new writers". He said: "The strength and diversity of the works nominated this year is a testament to the talent and range of British music writers."
And of the new home-grown writers included this year, the most startling new name is Patch William, who will compete against Allen for best song musically and lyrically.
In a statement, the band said they were delighted at being included. "We are a relatively unknown band on an independent label.
"When we recently signed with Chrysalis Music, we looked starry-eyed at the two Ivor Novello statues at the entrance. Not in our wildest dreams did we imagine that we'd be nominated," they said.
Patch William will also be competing against The Leisure Society, who were in their position last year when nominated for the same prize while still unpublished musicians and when songwriter Nick Hemming was working in a warehouse.
This year also sees the return of the concept album in the form of a nomination for the former Divine Comedy star Neil Hannon and Thomas Walsh – aka The Duckworth Lewis Method – for their album of the same name. It takes its title and theme from the method used to calculate the result in limited-over cricket when play is interrupted by the weather. In a typically idiosyncratic response to the news, Hannon said: "What joy! What honour! Our hippopotamusly titled debut album really was as fun to make as it sounds. And it is to the eternal credit of this August, nay, July institution that 'a record about cricket' should be afforded the same opportunities as its less 'niche' compatriots."
Also included for the first time this year when the awards are handed out at London's Grosvenor House hotel next month will be a prize for the best game scores. The gaming industry now rivals the music industry in cash terms globally.
Best contemporary song "Bonkers", Dizzee Rascal; "Daniel", Bat for Lashes; "In for the Kill", La Roux.
Best song musically and lyrically "Save It for Someone Who Cares", The Leisure Society; "The Fear", Lily Allen; "The Last Bus", Patch William.
Best television soundtrack Desperate Romantics; Life; Red Riding 1974.
Album award The Duckworth Lewis Method, The Duckworth Lewis Method; Sunny Side Up, Paolo Nutini; Tongue N'Cheek, Dizzee Rascal.
Most performed work "Broken Strings", James Morrison featuring Nelly Furtado; "The Fear", Lily Allen; "The Promise", Girls Aloud.
Best original film score Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs; Skin; The Young Victoria.
Best original video game score Empire: Total War; Killzone 2; Savage Moon: Waldgeist.