Page last updated at 08:50 GMT, Thursday, 10 April 2008 09:50 UK

Rowling honoured at book awards

JK Rowling

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has received an outstanding achievement prize at the 2008 Galaxy British Book Awards in London.

The writer was one of several honoured at the event, which also saw awards go to Ian McEwan, Afghan novelist Khaled Hosseini and actor Ewan McGregor.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent a video message praising Rowling for work that had "the whole country reading".

He also applauded the author for her "quiet" support of deserving charities.

Dressed in a purple gown, Rowling thanked the awards for giving her an outstanding rather than a lifetime prize as it suggested her career was not over.

She also paid tribute to her husband, doctor Neil Murray, for being her "brick".

'Best read'

McEwan's novel On Chesil Beach, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, was named Galaxy Book of the Year.

The Atonement writer was also named Reader's Digest author of the year, ahead of Nobel Prize recipient Doris Lessing.

Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, won the "best read" award for his follow-up novel A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Geri Halliwell with Lord Attenborough
Geri Halliwell presented the children's book of the year award
Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, Strictly Come Dancing winner Alesha Dixon and model-turned-author Katie Price were among the stars at Wednesday's event at London's Grosvenor House Hotel.

Price's My Pony Care Book was up for children's book of the year, but lost out to Francesca Simon's Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman.

Comedian Russell Brand, meanwhile, saw his memoir My Booky Wook named biography of the year.

Brand, who was not at the ceremony, was seen receiving his prize from US star Jay Leno during a recent appearance on his chat show.

"If it's one of them votes where it was rigged, thanks for rigging it in my favour," he joked.

McGregor and friend Charley Boorman picked up the non-fiction award for Long Way Down, based on their TV series following their motorbike journey from the UK to South Africa.

Other accolades went to crime writer Patricia Cornwell, fellow American Kim Edwards and British author Catherine O'Flynn.

Celebrity presenters at the event included Lord Attenborough, broadcaster Jonathan Ross and comic Alan Carr.

South Bank awards honour Rowling
29 Jan 08 |  Entertainment
Kite Runner author supports delay
17 Oct 07 |  Entertainment
McEwan defends Booker nomination
09 Oct 07 |  Entertainment
Comedian Kay up for book awards
07 Mar 07 |  Entertainment

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