Beckham's 'My Side' scores in book awards

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The Independent Culture

David Beckham's autobiography My Side - ghostwritten by the former EastEnders actor Tom Watt - is among eight books nominated for main prize at the British Book Awards next month.

David Beckham's autobiography My Side - ghostwritten by the former EastEnders actor Tom Watt - is among eight books nominated for main prize at the British Book Awards next month.

Other books in contention for the book of the year prize include JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Alexander McCall Smith's The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, the bestselling grammar book Eats, Shoots & Leaves and the former royal butler Paul Burrell's account of his life with Diana, Princess of Wales, A Royal Duty.

While prizes such as the Man Booker and Whitbread awards attempt to reward pure literary merit, the British Book Awards are publishing's main industry award ceremony. Nominations tend to go to bestselling books rather than low-selling darlings of the literary world.

Beckham's autobiography is also nominated in the sports book of the year category. Burrell, who refers to himself as Diana's "rock", said he was delighted to be competing with the footballer, who he singled out as his main rival.

"I am a great admirer of David Beckham and I am very much looking forward to this literary contest between the man from Buckingham Palace and the man from Beckingham Palace," he said.

"I think it will be my one and only chance to be on a level playing field with one of the world's greatest footballers - and have a chance of beating him."

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on 7 April and will be televised on Channel 4 two days later. The awards will be hosted by the presenters Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan.

The remaining nominees for the Book of the Year award are Brick Lane by Monica Ali, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

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