Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand are hot favourites to win Britain's prestigious Mercury Music Prize, according to bookmakers.

LADBROKES have stopped taking bets on the band - who won the Breakthrough Award at last week's (29SEP04) MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS - claiming they have pulled away from previous joint favourites The Streets.

Ladbrokes spokesman WARREN LUSH says, "Money points to glory for Franz Ferdinand.

"Overall, punters have found this year's Mercury hard to call, there are so many acts who have already established commercial success.

"All signs indicate that we'll see an historic turning point for Franz Ferdinand."

The prize - which was won by Dizzee Rascal last year (03) - will be handed out at a ceremony in London tomorrow night (7SEP04).

06/09/2004 17:13