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astragal

Last Saturday's Stirling Prize ceremony was the best for years - because it was broadcast live on Channel 4, thus adding a certain intensity and television professionalism to the occasion. The venue, the Old Billingsgate Market, was excellent, setting a benchmark that will need to be met in future years. In some ways the star of the show was Kevin McCloud, genial presenter of Grand Designs, who guided the audience of 900 through the (relatively) complicated business of doing a live show while also showing pre-made films on the shortlisted entries. For the first time, the awards audience was given a detailed account of the qualities of each of the short-listed buildings, and what the judges thought of them. The television audience figures, which in the past have totalled around 1.2 million, could well be boosted, as the show was sandwiched between an edition of Grand Designs and a scoop interview with Robbie Williams. Let's hear it for Robbie as a celebrity judge next year!

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