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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 March 2006, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Book award win for Harry Potter
JK Rowling
JK Rowling's award was chosen by a public vote
JK Rowling's sixth book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, has been named book of the year at the British Book Awards.

Rowling won the public vote ahead of autobiographies by the late John Peel, Sharon Osbourne, Jeremy Clarkson and Piers Morgan, and Jamie Oliver's Italy.

"I'm enjoying writing the last book in the series and it's coming along nicely," said the 40-year-old author.

The London ceremony was hosted by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan.

'Cheaper shoes'

Rowling added "I'm delighted that Harry Potter continues to give so much pleasure to adults and children, and I'm honoured to receive this award."

She said that her first literary gong had been a British Book Award, but then she had been wearing "much cheaper shoes".

The writer added that working on the Harry Potter books was a process of "frank insanity"

Veteran actress Lauren Bacall, who was among those at the event at London's Grosvenor House Hotel, congratulated Rowling.

Oliver ovation

"I'm a fan. My grandchildren are fans," said Bacall. "I wish I'd written the books."

In the autobiography category, Sharon Osbourne triumphed over Gloria Hunniford, Alexander Masters and John Peel - whose wife Sheila Ravenscroft completed the work after his death.

Alan Bennett beat Booker winners John Banville and Kazuo Ishiguro as well as bestselling Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafon to be named author of the year.

Other winners included Kate Mosse's Labyrinth in the Richard and Judy best read category, and Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife in the popular fiction category.

Cricketer Andrew Flintoff's autobiography triumphed in the sports category, while TV chef Jamie Oliver received an award for outstanding achievement in recognition of his campaign to improve school dinners.

Oliver received a standing ovation when he accepted his award - but fellow chef Gordon Ramsay did not rise to his feet.


SEE ALSO:
Peel biography in line for award
22 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
JK Rowling 'dreads' Potter finale
27 Dec 05 |  Entertainment
Richard and Judy pick top books
13 Dec 05 |  Entertainment
Rowling and Dylan win book awards
12 Oct 05 |  Entertainment
Global Potter sales top 300m mark
04 Oct 05 |  Entertainment


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