Galaxy National Book Awards Winners Announced / Watch it on More4 this Saturday, 13th November

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National Recognition for Outstanding Literary Achievement as Terry Pratchett and Martin Amis are Honoured at New Look Galaxy National Book Awards.

Fry Tastes Sweet Success and Snatches Coveted Biography Award from Blair and Sugar.

London, Wednesday 10th November-The winners of the Galaxy National Book Awards 2010, a celebration of the best of British publishing, were tonight revealed at a star-studded awards ceremony at London’s prestigious BBC Studios.

Literary veterans Terry Pratchett and Martin Amis took home awards for Outstanding Achievement, in recognition of their unrivalled contribution to the publishing industry.

“I’m delighted,” said Martin Amis. “And I take this is as a boost for the so called comic novel. I say so called, because in fact nearly all novels are comic novels.”

Terry Pratchett said: “I’m amazed, you find something that you like doing and do well and keep on doing it and suddenly they give you an award, when all I was really doing was having a lot of fun.”

Stephen Fry beat off big competition in the hotly contested Biography category, claiming victory over rival authors who included Tony Blair and Lord Alan Sugar.  Fry’s autobiography The Fry Chronicles was named Tesco Biography of the Year on an evening which saw ten awards presented.

The gala ceremony, recorded at the BBC Television Centre and presented by comedian David Baddiel, has shifted an enhanced focus onto UK writers in a theatre-style venue. Showcasing the best of British publishing and celebrating the titles that boast both wide popular appeal and critical acclaim, the awards welcomed famous faces including Claudia Winkleman, Arlene Phillips, Paul O’Grady, Richard E Grant, Sir Michael Parkinson and Kate Mosse.

Political commentator Andrew Marr landed the More4 Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award for The Making Of Modern Britain, ousting opponents including Antonia Fraser and Bill Bryson.

Feverish anticipation filled the studio as David NichollsOne Day was named Popular Fiction Book of the Year, ahead of an acclaimed line up of nominees which included Jilly Cooper, Dorothy Koomson and Philippa Gregory, all in attendance. Hilary Mantel emerged in front of Maggie O’Farrell, David Mitchell and Kate Atkinson to collect the highly prized Waterstone’s UK Author of the Year accolade.

Meanwhile, Guardian newspaper columnist and Cordon Bleu trained chef Yotam Ottolenghi tasted victory as his cookery book Plenty out performed celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson and Nigel Slater in the Tesco Food and Drink Book of the Year category.

Comic turned children’s author David Walliams was pipped to the WH Smith Children’s Book of the Year post by creators of the Gruffalo, Author/Illustrator double act Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, with their dragon tale Zog.

Whilst the awards are created primarily to recognise British writers, representatives from the international literary world also gathered to witness Jonathan Franzen awarded the Galaxy International Author of the Year prize for Freedom. Franzen snatched victory from an array of literary luminaries, amongst whom were Stieg Larsson and his posthumous thriller The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest and Christos Tsiolkas‘ controversy invoking The Slap

On presenting the award, Galaxy Ambassador Claudia Winkleman said “The Galaxy National Book Awards are a highlight of the literary calendar and a great opportunity to celebrate some of the year’s best loved books.  I was honoured to announce Jonathan Franzen as winner of the Galaxy International Author of the Year Award. As sponsor of the Awards, Galaxy continues to unite reading and chocolate as the perfect match for women everywhere to enjoy their ultimate me time moment.”

As well as the numerous established faces vying for gongs the awards also celebrate emerging talents – this year’s National Book Tokens New Writer of the Year went to ceramic artist Edmund de Waal, with his collection of family memoirs, The Hare With Amber Eyes

The public are now invited to vote online for the Galaxy Book of the Year, the nominees of which comprise winners of all eight categories. Votes can be registered at www.galaxynationalbookawards.com and the final result will be announced on 13th December.

Viewers can catch the Awards on More4 from 7.30pm on Saturday 13th November. The televised ceremony will then be followed by five television shows, Booked: Stars of the Galaxy National Book Awards, serving up frank and funny in depth interviews five of the authors of the biggest biographies out this Christmas, as well as the winners of tonight’s Awards. The first show will air on Sunday 14th November on More4.

The featured biographers are each interviewed by a different star:  Tony Blair is interviewed by John Sergeant, Sir Michael Parkinson meets Dame Joan Bakewell, and Paul O’Grady jests with Sandi Toksvig. 

The Galaxy National Book Awards 2010 and the Booked series are Cactus TV productions (Executive Produced by Amanda Ross) for More4.

For full details of the shortlist please see below:

TESCO BIOGRAPHY OF THE YEAR

The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry (Penguin Group)

TESCO FOOD & DRINK BOOK OF THE YEAR

Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi (Random House)

NATIONAL BOOK TOKENS NEW WRITER OF THE YEAR

The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal (Random House)

MORE4 NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR

The Making Of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr (Pan Macmillan)

SAINSBURY’S POPULAR FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR

One Day by David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton)

WATERSTONE’S UK AUTHOR OF THE YEAR

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (Harper Collins)

GALAXY INTERNATIONAL AUTHOR OF THE YEAR

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (Harper Collins)

WH SMITH CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE YEAR

Zog by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler (Scholastic)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Terry Pratchett

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Martin Amis

For all the latest news on the awards, download the official free Galaxy National Book Awards App now from the Apple App Store.

You can watch the Galaxy National Book Awards 2010, on Saturday 13th November at 7.30pm
on More4.

For more information, please contact Julia Walker or Claire Richman at Midas Public Relations on 020 7361 7860 or: julia.walker@midaspr.co.uk / claire.richman@midaspr.co.uk