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Journalist-turned-musician in line for BBC folk prize

Former regional press journalist-turned-musician John Tams has once again been nominated for a gong at the Radio Two Folk Awards.

John, who edited the Belper News and also worked as a journalist on the Ripley and Heanor News and Derbyshire Times, is in the running for the Best Original Song prize for a track called Steelos.

The song, about the steel industry, was included in a series for Radio Two which John worked on, called Radio Ballads. It looked at different issues, including the end of the steel industry in south Yorkshire.

The nomination follows a successful year for John at last year’s event, which saw him named Folk Singer of the Year as well as picking up prizes for best album and best traditional track.

John said: “To be nominated again for Best Original Song is an honour, because that’s what I do, I’m a songwriter.”

The winner will be announced during a ceremony at The Brewery in London on Monday, February 5.

Prizes will be handed out in nine categories, following shortlisting by a panel of around 150 broadcasters, folk journalists, festival organisers, agents and promoters.

Since leaving journalism John has had a varied musical career and in May 2001 released his first solo album, ‘Unity’.

He has also had numerous musical and acting roles in theatre, television and film, and is perhaps best known for his part as Daniel Hagman the rifleman in Sharpe, the Napoleonic war series which starred Sean Bean.