Salman Rushdie honoured at South Bank Sky Arts Awards

Booker prize winning author Sir Salman Rushdie has been recognised at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards.

Also to emerge at the awards are one-woman theatre production

Prima Facie, starring Jodie Comer; 

Aftersun, which secured lead actor Paul Mescal an Oscar nomination this year, won for film, while the highly-anticipated return of Sally Wainwright’s BBC series Happy Valley won in the TV drama category.

Amputee dancer Musa Motha, who left judge Simon Cowell “speechless” after his performance in the Britain’s Got Talent final this year, received The Times breakthrough award celebrating emerging talent.

Ivor Novello-winning singer-songwriter Raye took home the pop award for her critically acclaimed debut studio album My 21st Century Blues, and the Royal Ballet’s Light Of Passage picked up the accolade for dance.

Tom Crewe’s debut novel The New Life, exploring homosexuality in 19th century Britain, scooped the literature prize – and Jack Rooke’s popular Channel 4 comedy series Big Boys won for comedy.

According to, veteran broadcaster Melvyn Bragg hosted the annual ceremony at The Savoy Hotel in London on Sunday, celebrating a broad range of artistic genres including dance, theatre, music, TV and film.

The Satanic Verses author was handed the outstanding achievement award for his “impressive body of work” over the last five decades, including winning the Booker Prize in 1981 for his second novel Midnight’s Children.

 “This is a high honour indeed, and I’m delighted to be receiving it in the company of so many extraordinary figures in so many different arts, all being recognised for exceptional work,” Rusdie said. “Artists, of all sorts, make up a community I’m proud to belong to, and it’s good to be celebrating that community together.”

It comes almost a year after Rushdie was stabbed repeatedly while on stage at a literary festival in New York state.

Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had condemned as blasphemous passages referring to the Prophet Muhammad in his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses.

Khomeini issued a decree the following year calling for the writer’s death, forcing the author into hiding – although he had been travelling freely for years before last summer’s stabbing.

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