Barack Obama has won a prize at the British Book Awards for his autobiography Dreams From My Father.
By Murray Wardrop writing in The Telegraph
Barack Obama triumphed at the British Book Awards with Dreams From My Father
The US President triumphed in the Biography of the Year category for the memoir of his early life and African-American heritage.
The book beat works by television presenter Paul O'Grady, actress Julie Walters and comedienne Dawn French to take the prize.
Mr Obama, who visited Britain this week for the first time since becoming president, was unable to collect his trophy at the ceremony in London, having travelled to Strasbourg for the Nato summit.
The president was beaten to a second award by journalist Aravind Adiga, who was crowned Author of the Year for his Booker Prize-winning novel The White Tiger.
Mr Obama's political thesis, The Audacity of Hope, had been nominated for the prize.
The shortlist in that category was crammed with winners of other literary gongs including Orange prize-winner Rose Tremain, Costa Book of the Year winner Sebastian Barry and Costa Biography Laureate Diana Athill.
The Nibbies – so called because of the distinctive pen-nib trophies – gives readers across Britain the chance to vote for the winners, alongside industry judges.
Michael Palin won the Outstanding Achievement award.
In an impassioned acceptance speech, he said: "We should be wary of the easy options. The language of the Internet and the mobile phone has developed over 30 years.
"If I had to give words of advice to writers of the future I would say 'Look up from above your screens, take off your headphones and look around and see what is actually there."'
Madeley and Finnegan described Palin as a "modern day Renaissance man – a successful actor, comedian, playwright, diarist, documentary maker, charity founder, explorer and, of course, author".
The new Nibbie joins three others Palin has won over the last 16 years.
Sebastian Faulks picked up the Popular Fiction Award from Ant and Dec for his James Bond novel Devil May Care.
Earlier he had arrived at the ceremony in a vintage Bentley with Tuuli Shipster, the model who features on the cover of the book.
Stephenie Meyer, who has been hailed as the successor of JK Rowling for her popular Twilight series of vampire stories, beat the Harry Potter creator to win the Children's Book of the Year for Breaking Dawn.
Twilight, the first book in the cult series, about a teenage girl who falls for a vampire, was recently adapted as a blockbusting film of the same name.
Meyer, speaking from the US where she is finishing her next novel, described the win as "amazing and phenomenal".
The late Stieg Larsson won in the Crime Thriller of the Year category for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the first work in a trilogy the Swedish author and journalist left unpublished when he died in 2004.
The New Writer of the Year Award went to Tom Rob Smith for Child 44, a murder mystery set in Soviet Russia.
The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher won Kate Summerscale the Popular Non-Fiction Award and the ultimate accolade, Book of the Year.
Borders Author of the Year – White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (Atlantic Books)
Tesco Biography of the Year – Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama (Canongate)
Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (MacLehose Press)
Waterstone's New Writer of the Year – Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (Simon & Schuster)
Sainsbury's Popular Fiction Award – Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks (Penguin)
Play.com Popular Non-Fiction Award – The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale (Bloomsbury)
Richard and Judy's Best Read of the Year – When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday)
WH Smith Children's Book of the Year – Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Atom)
Outstanding Achievement – Michael Palin
Galaxy Book of the Year – The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale (Bloomsbury)