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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 16:51 GMT
South Bank awards honour Rowling
JK Rowling
Rowling finished her seventh Potter book last year
Author JK Rowling has been given an outstanding achievement prize for her success with the Harry Potter books at the South Bank Show awards.

Arctic Monkeys scooped the award for pop music, while This is England beat Atonement to pick up the film prize.

BBC Three series Gavin and Stacey was awarded best comedy, and Channel 4's The Mark of Cain, about UK troops in Iraq, claimed best TV drama.

The awards will be broadcast on 3 February on ITV1 at 2240 GMT.

Rowling joins a list of previous winners of the top prize at the awards, including Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, Helen Mirren, Richard Attenborough and last year's recipients, The Who.

TV Drama: The Mark of Cain
Classical Music: Traced Overhead: The Musical World of Thomas Ades
Pop Music: Arctic Monkeys for Favourite Worst Nightmare
Visual Arts:Andy Goldsworthy at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Comedy: Gavin and Stacey
Dance: Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company
Film: This Is England
Literature: Mohsin Hamid for The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Opera: The Turn of The Screw
Theatre: Saint Joan
Arts Council award: Daljit Nagra for Look We Have Coming To Dover!
Breakthrough award: Jennifer Pike
Outstanding achievement: JK Rowling

'Worst break-up'

Accepting the prize, the 42-year-old told the audience that saying goodbye to Harry Potter in her final book was more painful than the ending of a relationship.

"It has been the worst break-up of my life - far worse than splitting up with any man," she said.

"But it has also been wonderful to stop and draw breath and think, 'My God, look what's happened with an idea I had 17 years ago on a train'."

Rowling told the BBC that the final book of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was her favourite.

"I think it is the best book that I have written. It was my favourite story and I got to say all the things that really the books have been about all along, but I've never been able to be open about."

The South Bank Show awards, hosted by Melvyn Bragg, recognise British achievement in music, theatre, television and the arts.

The theatre award went to the National Theatre's production of Saint Joan.

Artist Andy Goldsworthy beat Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger in the visual arts category for his work at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Poet Daljit Nagra won the Arts Council England Decibel award for his debut collection, entitled Look We Have Coming to Dover! and Mohsin Hamid won the literature prize for The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

The Times Breakthrough award, voted by members of the public, was presented to up-and-coming violinist Jennifer Pike.

Ten stars up for South Bank Award
06 Jan 08 |  Entertainment
JK Rowling hints at eighth Potter
30 Dec 07 |  Entertainment
Radiohead up for South Bank award
07 Dec 07 |  Entertainment
South Bank awards honour The Who
23 Jan 07 |  Entertainment

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