The guitar hero from the Smiths and a government minister will be among the celebrities presenting trophies at the annual BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, set for Feb. 5 at London's Cumberland Hotel. The even

The guitar hero from the Smiths and a government minister will be among the celebrities presenting trophies at the annual BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, set for Feb. 5 at London's Cumberland Hotel. The event will again be hosted by folk artist and Radio 2 host Mike Harding, with presenters including ex-Smith Johnny Marr and Secretary Of State For Culture, Media, And Sport, the Rt. Hon. Chris Smith.



Marr hinted at his predilection for folk music last year when his band the Healers cut a version of "A Woman Like You" for "People On The Highway," a double-CD tribute to Bert Jansch on U.K. indie Market Square Records.



Also presenting awards will be Billy Bragg, film and television writer Willy Russell, and singer/actress Barbara Dickson. Artists performing that night will include Taj Mahal, Mary Black, John Tams, and up-and-coming prospect Belinda "Bill" Jones. Radio 2 will broadcast highlights of the event two nights later.



Meanwhile, on Monday (Jan. 22), Topic Records will release "The Folk Awards" in the U.K., a 16-track collection to tie in with the occasion featuring tracks by Jansch, Tams, Kate Rusby, Taj Mahal & Toumani Diabate, and others. '