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David Walliams to receive Bord Gáis Energy ‘International Recognition Award’ at the BGE Irish Book Awards 2017

October 19, 2017

The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards televised show moves to a new 9.30pm primetime slot on RTÉ One

David Walliams, the mega-selling children’s author, will be presented with the ‘International Recognition Award’ at this year’s Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards ceremony which takes place in Dublin on 28th November 2017.

Walliams will receive the accolade in recognition of his significant contribution to children’s literature in the past decade. The author joins a roll-call of previous recipients of the ‘International Recognition Award’, which include Jilly Cooper, Jeffrey Archer and Bill Bryson.

“This is delightful news,” said Walliams. “I am so pleased that my friends in Ireland have given me this huge honour. I love writing books for children and will continue doing so for as long as people want to read them.”

David Walliams is a global phenomenon in the world of publishing and his books have revolutionised reading for children. His ability to wow fans is unprecedented with global sales exceeding 20 million copies and his books translated into 53 languages.

With two Irish number-one bestselling titles already under his belt this year (Blob and World’s Worst Children 2), Walliams is on track for continued chart-busting success as HarperCollins release his 10th novel, Bad Dad (out 2nd November), illustrated by the amazing Tony Ross.

The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, which is the biggest event in the Irish literary calendar, brings together the entire literary community – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians – to celebrate the very best of Irish talent. Some of the biggest and most popular domestic and international writers have graced the Irish Book Awards stage including Seamus Heaney, William Trevor, Anne Enright, John Banville, John Montague, Edna O Brien, JP Donleavy, Maeve Binchy, Graham Norton, Cecelia Ahern, John Boyne, Marian Keyes and Paul Howard.

This year, the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards show, presented by Keelin Shanley, will be televised on RTÉ One during the primetime slot of 9:30pm the evening after the event – Wednesday 29th November. The number of award categories will increase to 15 this year, with the introduction of the Dept 51 @ Eason Teen/Young Adult Book of the Year.

Speaking about the new primetime slot for the televised Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards show, Aifric Ní Chianáin, Executive Producer Arts, RTÉ, says: “RTÉ are delighted to celebrate another year of great Irish writing and to bring the achievements of our extraordinarily talented writers to the attention of as wide an audience as possible by broadcasting the awards in such a primetime slot.”

The shortlist of nominations for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2017 will be announced on 2nd November at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.

This year, Bord Gáis Energy has also reluctantly announced their departure as title sponsor of the Irish Book Awards after an extremely fruitful eight-year partnership. Their sponsorship will end after this year’s event. Bord Gáis Energy is pleased, however, to remain involved in the initiative by retaining sponsorship of the Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year category.

Larry Mac Hale, current Chairman of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, says: “We’re delighted to be welcoming David Walliams to the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards this November and we’re thrilled that the awards highlights show will now be televised on RTÉ One at the primetime showing of 9.30pm on Wednesday 29th November. I would also like to thank Bord Gáis Energy for their support of the Irish Book Awards over the past eight years. BGE has helped fan the flame of literature far and wide, helping to create the wonderful event we have today. We thank all of those at BGE for their support and dedication and we are delighted that they are continuing their involvement through sponsorship of the Sports Book of the Year category. We now look to a new partner to continue our development and reach as many readers as possible.”

Dave Kirwan, Managing Director of Bord Gáis Energy, says: Bord Gáis Energy originally came on board to support the Irish Book Awards back in 2010. Over the past eight years, we’ve been pleased to have played some small part in helping to raise and maintain the profile of Irish literature in Ireland and abroad, and today’s well-deserved award to David is a fine example of that. We’ve seen real value in supporting the awards.  However, as our business has changed, so too has our commercial focus, and it is with some reluctance that we’ve decided to relinquish our headline sponsorship of the Irish Book Awards.  We’ll continue to support the Awards through our sponsorship of the Sports Book of the Year category and we look forward to seeing the initiative continue to grow and we would like to wish the team the very best for the future. Irish literature is in good hands.”

The Irish Book Awards is currently in discussions to source a new headline sponsor for 2018, with negotiations now taking place. All enquiries should be made to Alastair Giles, Director of the Irish Book Awards. He can be contacted at alastair@agile-ideas.com

David Walliams photo by Simon Emmett