The Galaxy British Book Awards were handed out at a gala ceremony last night, and the Independent‘s Louise Jury reports on the speeches, the winners and the surprises of the evening (which will be televised at the end of the week.) Highlights included Richard & Judy‘s Best Read of the Year going to Jed Rubenfeld for THE INTERPRETATION OF MURDER, while Ricky Gervais beat established writers including Geraldine McCaughrean and Terry Pratchett to take the children’s book of the year honour with Flanimals of the Deep, the third in the series he has produced with the illustrator Rob Steen. Gervais accepted his award live on stage in Ipswich. “That’s fantastic … it’s the first one for my literary outputs,” he said, admitting his work had been described as “books about bollocks with eyes drawn on them”. Other winners in various categories included Richard Dawkins, Ian Rankin, Peter Kay, Conn & Hal Iggulden and Victoria Hislop.