Francine Stock literary dinner

ALISON CROOSE King's Lynn Festival: King's Lynn Town Hall

ALISON CROOSE

The rigours of being a judge for the Booker Prize were described by broadcaster and author Francine Stock at the festival's literary dinner.

She said judges were required to read about 120 books.

The presenter of BBC Radio 4's arts programme, Front Row, is taking a break from broadcasting while she fulfils her judging duties which, she said, had also forced her to put on hold writing her third book. Francine Stock, who was for five years a reporter and presenter on Newsnight, talked about the changes in styles of news reporting since she covered the dissolution of the former Soviet Union and Gulf War, contrasting with the coverage of this year's war in Iraq.

Ion Trewin, editor-in-chief at Weidenfeld and Nicolson, also introduced Sarah Harrison, whose first novel, The Flowers of the Field, became an international best-seller.

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