Mercury Music Prize moves to Channel 4

 

The Mercury Prize is to move to Channel 4 after many years on the BBC in a revamp of the music award.

Many of the nominated acts will perform a series of gigs at which they will play their shortlisted albums under the new plans.

The respected award - won last year by PJ Harvey - will also disappear from BBC radio. Last year it was broadcast by BBC 6 Music and it was broadcast by Radio 1 for many years.

The overhaul will also see the prize-giving ceremony move from September to November 1 and a relocation to north London's Roundhouse after years at the Grosvenor House ballroom.

The shortlist of 12 acts will be announced on September 12, two months later than normal, and each of the performers will be invited to play gigs the following month to showcase their albums, which will be recorded for broadcast. The artists - from the UK and Ireland - will also be asked to play at the ceremony.

Award bosses have tied up a new four-year deal with sponsor Barclaycard.

Previous winners of the prize include Elbow, Franz Ferdinand and Primal Scream.

Channel 4 will screen up to 16 shows connected to the awards each year under a three-year deal, including a half-hour launch show and the awards ceremony.

Dan Ford, managing director of the prize, said: "By providing access to a whole season of Barclaycard Mercury Prize live events, broadcast coverage and online content, we will be able to help even more people discover and experience the amazing range of new music that comes out of the UK every year - generating more interest in the shortlisted artists and albums than ever before."

A BBC spokeswoman said: "We are proud to have supported the Mercury Prize for the past 15 years and wish it the best of luck for the future. Mercury-nominated artists will continue to be featured regularly across all our platforms outside the prize on radio and television and within festival coverage."

PA

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