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Music: Starsailor pick of the Brits at 5-1.

Byline: STUART CARRUTHERS

THIS is the time of year when incongruously trendy music biz types wander into betting shops laden with inside information and thousands of pounds, trying to land a touch on the Brit Awards

Hills have declined to offer those in the know the chance to avail them of large sums of money and the only prices to have seen the light of day so far come from Sports.com.

Fair play to them for getting involved, although with maximum stakes limited to pounds 20, anyone who has already been tipped off about who has won what is going to have to do an awful lot of clicking in order to really make it worthwhile.

For those whose average stake is below a score, a couple of decent value opportunities appear to exist among the Sports.com offers.

The pick is in the best newcomer section, where Starsailor stand out at 5-1 in a cate- gory decided by a public vote.

The four-piece from Chorley were one of the most eagerly-anticipated bands of last year and haven't disappointed anyone with what they have released. They have had four top-20 singles and an album that has been in the top ten for months.

Starsailor will be up against some stiff competition, particually from the So Solid Crew and Blue, but their general appeal should score them votes from all corners.

Fatboy Slim's video to Weapon of Choice is favourite to win best video even though the song was never released as a single in the UK. The video features Hollywood star Christopher Walken dancing around a LA hotel.

With this being another category voted for by the public, Weapon of Choice should emerge as the the people's choice.

Recommendations

Starsailor to win best British newcomer

1pt 5-1 (Sports.com)

Fatboy Slim to win best British video

1pt 3-1 (Sports.com)

Sports.com - best male solo artist: 5-4 Robbie Williams, 2 Ian Brown, 7-2 Craig David, 7 Elton John, 10 Aphex Twin.

Best female solo artist: 1-2 Dido, 7-2 Sophie Ellis Bextor, 6 P J Harvey, 8 Geri Halliwell, 14 Sade.

Best group: Evs Gorillaz, 3 Stereophonics, Travis, 10 Jamiroquai, Radiohead.

Best album: 4-5 Gorillaz, 11-4 Dido, 3 Travis, 9 Radiohead, 12 Craig David.

Best newcomer: 3 So Solid Crew, Turin Brakes, Zero 7, 5 Starsailor, 7 Atomic Kitten, 8 Gorillaz, 10 Blue, 14 Mis-Teeq, 20 Elbow.

Best single: 2 Daniel Bedingfield, 4 S Club 7, 4 So Solid Crew, 5 Robbie Williams, 6 Gorillaz, 8 Atomic Kitten, 8 DJ Pied Piper, 14 bar.

Best video: 3 Fatboy Slim, 7-2 Robbie Williams, 4 Travis, 5 Robbie & Kylie, Gorillaz, 6 Basement Jaxx, 8 So Solid Crew, 10 Dido, 16 Coldplay, 28 Elton John.

CAPTION(S):

Fatboy Slim, Video star
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 18, 2002
Words:458
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