While we can understand the Orange Prize Judges' motivation in accepting an offer from Lily Allen to let her judge the next prize - with so many prizes for literature now, it'll give it a PR leap over the Costa, the Guardian, the Smarties and the rest of the crowded field - we're not entirely sure they're comfortable with what they've done.
Certainly, Kate Mosse seemed to be selling an idea rather than announcing a judge:
The Orange judges have previously included actors, politicians and models, and, Mosse pointed out, a singer, Suzanne Vega.
Because, of course, Suzanne Vega and Lily Allen are almost interchangeable.
It might be that Allen is a great choice - although she doesn't list any authors as inspiration on her MySpace page, and we can't think of her talking about books overmuch - she once told the Independent she her "current favourite book" was the Other Boleyn Girl, and there were rumours earlier in the year that she'd been signed up to add a "My Life Story" to the groaning WH Smiths shelves alongside Beckham and Price. It might even be that having Allen onboard will allow a little of her marketeer's idea of cool rub off on reading as a whole. But the Guardian website seemed to be sending out a coded message of doubt:
That Allen "indirectly" (i.e. through her management or record label, we assume) Orange to be a judge is also interesting - could she be hoping a little credibility sticks to her?