People's Mercury favourite Paul Weller

Paul Weller is favourite to win tonight's (07.09.10) Mercury Music Prize among gamblers and internet poll respondents

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This article is from 2010.

Paul Weller

Paul Weller

Paul Weller is favourite to win tonight's (07.09.10) Mercury Music Prize.

There have been an unprecedented number of bets at bookmakers on the singer and internet polls have been flooded with votes for his album 'Wake Up The Nation' to win the coveted industry accolade.

A spokesperson for bookmaker William Hill said: "This is a pretty unprecedented gamble - certainly in the history of the Mercury, and also every other music award."

While the public are in favour of Paul - known as the Modfather - winning however, the Barclaycard Mercury Prize is decided by a panel of figures from within the music industry and has notoriously produced some unexpected winners since its inception in 1992.

Virtually unknown artists frequently triumph over more established acts when the award is given, such as last year, when virtual unknown hip hop artist Speech Debelle scooped the award.

The winner does usually see a boost in their profile however, and it was after scooping the award in 2003 that obscure 16-year-old rapper Dizzee Rascal got mainstream attention which started him on the path to becoming one of the most popular performers in the UK.

Paul, 52, was last nominated in 1994 for his 'Wild Wood' album, which lost out to M People's album 'Elegant Slumming', though Paul says he had never expected to win that year because he was up against Blur's career defining album 'Parklife'.

'Eton Rifles' hitmaker Paul added that he's already started work on the follow up to 'Wake Up The Nation' and has hit something of a creative spurt.

He told the Daily Star newspaper: "We've done around eight tracks in four days and they sound mega. I would say it's more pop, it's different again, another move on.

"It's not about shocking people, it's just me being a little more willing to push the boat out."

The other nominees for tonight's Mercury Music Prize are:

Barclaycard Mercury Prize nominees:

Biffy Clyro - 'Only Revolutions'

Corinne Bailey Rae - 'The Sea'

Dizzee Rascal - 'Tongue N' Cheek'

Foals - 'Total Life Forever'

I Am Kloot - 'Sky At Night'

Kit Downes Trio - 'Golden'

Laura Marling - 'I Speak Because I Can'

Mumford and Sons - 'Sigh No More'

Paul Weller - 'Wake Up The Nation'

The XX - 'xx'

Villagers - 'Becoming a Jackal'

Wild Beasts - 'Two Dancers'

This article is from 2010.

Paul Weller

The Modfather performs material from throughout his 30-year career, including his latest album Saturn's Pattern.

229 The Venue, London W1W

Thu 30 Mar

Phone for prices, tickets on sale Friday 10th Feb, 10am / 020 7323 7229

Colston Hall, Bristol

Sat 1 Apr

£43 / 0117 922 3686

De Montfort Hall, Leicester

Tue 4 Apr

£43 / 0116 233 3111

Also on at:

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