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Jerry Dammers awarded Ivor Novello Inspiration Award

The Specials songwriter, Jerry Dammers, has been awarded the Inspiration Award at the 59th Ivor Novello Awards.

Dammers, from Coventry, scored a top 10 hit with his song 'Free Nelson Mandela', which was performed by Special AKA.

Jerry Dammers Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The song became an anti-apartheid anthem and Mr Mandela, who died in December, was eventually released in 1990.

The annual awards, known as The Ivors, are voted for by songwriters and composers.

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Nelson Mandela tribute to be held in Birmingham

The event will also link to the coverage of the funeral in South Africa.
The event will also link to the coverage of Nelson Mandela's funeral in South Africa. Credit: The Drum

A tribute to Nelson Mandela will take place in Birmingham today on the day of his funeral.

The event, at The Drum, will see artists, musicians and poets celebrate the life of the former South African president.

A Book of Remembrance will also be available with extracts to be collected and presented to the South African Embassy.

Critics slam 'shoddy' Mandela condolence book

A book of condolence opened in honour of Nelson Mandela has come under fire for being "shoddy" and "cheap".

Birmingham City Council has invited people to pay their respects to the former South African president by writing in the book - which consists of photocopied tribute sheets held inside plastic wallets.

Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela Credit: John Stillwell/PA

It is accompanied by a photocopied picture of Mandela.

Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, Northfield resident Susan Knowles - who lived in South Africa for 15 years - said she thought it was "disgraceful".

Read her full interview here.

Nelson Mandela: Leicester to host special events

Nelson Mandela died last week at the age of 95
Nelson Mandela died last week at the age of 95 Credit: PA Wire

Leicester is getting ready to host a number of events to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela.

A number of tributes will take place today in honour of the former South African president who died last week.

A gathering will take place at Nelson Mandela Park with poetry and texts including some of his famous quotes being read.

A symbolic Walk to Freedom will then take place from the park to Leicester Cathedral.

Finally a short service including gospel music and messages from city leaders will take place at the cathedral. Following the ceremony a vast Rainbow Tree will be created with ribbons of different colours tied onto a tree outside St Martins House.

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Worcester service held in tribute to Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela died on Thursday evening Credit: Chris Bacon/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Special prayers will be said for Nelson Mandela in Worcester Cathedral at 4pm today.

The Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, Dean of Worcester said "Nelson Mandela was one of the great figures of our time and the whole world is indebted to him".

The cathedral flag is being flown at half mast as mark of respect to the man who became South Africa's black president and who transitioned the country out of white rule.

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Jerry Dammers: 'So much time was taken from Mandela'

Jerry Dammers, who wrote the anthem Free Nelson Mandela, has said that it should not be forgotten how much of the former President of South Africa's life was taken by the 27 years he spent in prison.

He said: "He actually died a very young man he had... 27 years in prison. A large part of his life was taken and we shouldn't forget that. He was a young man, he wasn't an old man."

He added that despite Mandela's poor health in recent years the news of his death yesterday still came as a shock.

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