Jill Dando switches channels to present music awards

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The Independent Online
The TV personality, Jill Dando, is to present The Gramophone Awards on ITV, the first time in their 20-year history that the premier classical music awards have been given their own television show. Dando, who is a BBC presenter, had to be given special permission to be allowed to appear on the show on 28 October, which is being mounted by Carlton Television. While The Brits and the Mercury Music Prize receive prime time TV coverage, this will be the first time that classical music gets a glitzy TV awards show. The ceremony itself will be at London's Alexandra Palace on Monday 27 October, and Luciano Pavarotti will be making a guest appearance.

Chris Pollard, editorial director of Gramophone Magazine said: "We are delighted that at last the awards will be gaining a mass audience. ITV has recognised the broadcast potential of this event and its coverage will give a major boost to the classical music industry. The broadcast will give fans a chance to see their musical heroes and also introduce them to a whole new audience. I really feel that a lot of preconceptions about the world of classical music and the artists that inhabit it will be altered on 28 October."

Former recipients of the Gramophone awards include Pavarotti, Carreras, Kiri Te Kanawa and Nigel Kennedy.