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Paul Gambaccini hints at George Martin tribute at Ivor Novello Awards

MusicBy Sunday World
Paul Gambaccini hints at George Martin tribute at Ivor Novello Awards

Paul Gambaccini has hinted there will be a tribute to the late George Martin at the upcoming Ivor Novello Awards.

The 67-year-old presenter will be taking on hosting duties again for the 29th year in a row when the prize-giving ceremony for songwriters from the UK and around the world takes place on May 19 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Gambaccini has been staggered by the number of deaths in the music world this year with legends such as David Bowie, Motorhead's Lemmy, Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White and The Beatles' long-time producer Martin all passing away in 2016.

The pop expert admits it will be difficult to include a tribute to all the late icons at the ceremony but is sure Martin - who was dubbed the 'Fifth Beatle' - will get a special moment of recognition following his death at the age of 90 in March.

Speaking at the nominations announcement at the Arts Club in London on Tuesday (19.04.16), he told BANG Showbiz: "George was special.

"There is the annual memorial reel, as it used to be called, but it will be difficult to choose who has to be left out because this has been an extraordinary year for loss. There was a (BBC) Radio 4 feature on it incidentally where they actually counted the number of obituaries that the BBC website had run in the first three months of the year in the past half dozen years and this year there have been twice as many as in other previous years. Everyone who has the impression that this has been a terrible year for death, they're right."

The Ivor Novellos are considered by many artists to be one of the most prestigious awards ceremonies in the world because the nominees are selected by a panel of other songwriters.

Gambaccini insists the awards show - which has honoured stars like Nile Rodgers, Sir Paul McCartney and John Lennon, Noel Gallagher and Boy George among others - deserves that status because unlike events such as the BRITs or the Grammys it has no external pressure from TV or record companies to recognise certain artists.

He explained: "This is my 29th year as host of the Ivors, I've stuck with it for so long because they asked me!

"It's my favourite of all the awards because it has the most integrity. Almost all over awards shows have additional Priorities. Quality is one of considerations, but there are also record company promotional considerations, which are supported in the nominations. And then usually the host is not a musical figure but is usually someone who has a programme on the network that airs the show. Most televised awards shows are fractionally music awards shows due to the other considerations, whereas with the Ivors it's just writers judging writers."

Among this year's nominees are Ed Sheeran, who is up for Best Song Musically and Lyrically for 'Bloodstream', Skepta, whose in the running for Best Contemporary Song for 'Shutdown', and Jess Glynne's 'Hold My Hand' which must beat Years & Years' 'King' and James Bay's 'Hold Back The River' to win the Most Performed Work prize.

2016 Ivor Novello Awards nominations:

Best Song Musically and Lyrically:

'Bloodstream' - Ed Sheeran

'Bros' - Wolf Alice

'Wasn't Expecting That' - Jamie Lawson

Best Contemporary Song:

'All My Friends' - Snakehips ft Tinashe & Chance The Rapper

'Cargo' - Roots Manuva

'Shutdown' - Skepta

Most Performed Work:

'Hold Back The River' - James Bay

'Hold My Hand' - Jess Glynne

'King' - Years & Years

Best Album:

'Darling Arithmetic' - Villagers

'In Colour' - Jamie xx

'Matador' - Gaz Coombes

Best Film Score

'Ex Machina'

'Pan'

'The Duke of Burgundy'

Best Television Soundtrack:

'And Then There Were None'

'From Darkness'

'London Spy'