Page last updated at 21:07 GMT, Friday, 3 April 2009 22:07 UK

Obama scoops British book prize

Barack Obama in 2006
Obama was also nominated for author of the year for his political work

US President Barack Obama fought off competition from Paul O'Grady and Dawn French to take the biography prize at the British Book Awards.

The president won with his memoir of his youth, Dreams From My Father.

He was unable to collect his trophy - owing to more pressing commitments at the Nato summit.

The president was beaten to a second award by Aravind Adiga who took home author of the year for his Booker Prize-winning novel The White Tiger.

Obama's political thesis, The Audacity of Hope, had been in the running in that category.

Kate Summerscale took home two prizes as she collected the non-fiction award and book of the year for her Victorian murder mystery, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

'Renaissance man'

Bestselling author Stephenie Meyer won children's book of the year for Breaking Dawn - the final instalment of her teenage vampire drama series Twilight.

In a recorded message sent from the US, she said her victory was "amazing and phenomenal and I just cannot say thank you enough".

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan
Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan took on hosting duties

Stieg Larsson posthumously won the crime thriller of the year award for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The book was published in English last year, four years after the Swedish author's death at the age of 50.

Larsson's father collected the trophy on his behalf.

Sebastian Faulks won the popular fiction award for his James Bond story, Devil May Care.

Jack Dee, Jerry Hall, Alan Davies and Jerry Springer were among the stars giving out prizes at the ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

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A stream of celebrities at the Galaxy Book Awards

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan took on hosting duties.

They paid tribute to Michael Palin as a "modern-day Renaissance man" as they presented him with an award for outstanding achievement.

The Richard and Judy best read award went to Kate Atkinson for When Will There Be Good News while Tom Rob Smith took the newcomer prize for his murder mystery, Child 44.



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