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Dame Stella has written five novels
Former head of MI5 Dame Stella Rimington is to chair the judges for next year's Man Booker Prize for Fiction, it has been announced.

Dame Stella, who has written five novels, said she was looking forward to chairing the “distinguished” panel.

She will be joined on the panel by writer Matthew d'Ancona, author Susan Hill, ex-MP Chris Mullin and the Daily Telegraph's head of books, Gaby Wood.

This year's Booker Prize was won by Howard Jacobson's The Finkler Question.

“I am sure we will have many stimulating debates and will come up with a worthy winner of next year's prize,” Dame Stella said.

Ion Trewin, literary director of the prize, said: “Every year we look for a different mix of judges and I'm particularly delighted by the breadth and range of interests of the 2011 team.”

The 2011 long list of titles under serious consideration for the prize will be announced in late July.

The shortlist of six books will be announced in early September with the winner announced at a ceremony on Tuesday 18 October 2011.