SOMERSET author Guy Kennaway has won the 2021 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction with his novel The Accidental Collector.

The book tells the story of an art dealer who meets a “penniless hippy” in a “hilarious story”, the organisers of the award said in a statement.

His book saw off competition from five other shortlisted authors.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: COMPETITION: The Accidental Collector saw off competition from five other shortlisted authors

Dolly Alderton’s novel Ghosts, Between Beirut And The Moon by Naji Bakhti, Diksha Basu’s Destination Wedding, Temporary by Hilary Leichter and Lauren Oyler’s book Fake Accounts were also nominated.

Guy, who lives in Pilton and has previously praised Michael Eavis for handing out free Glastonbury tickets to the locals, said: “I want to congratulate my fellow shortlisted authors and thank them for a fair fight.

“I believe only two of you remain in hospital. I read your books and hated them all, because they were so charming and funny.

“I have always wanted to win the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize.

“It combines a number of my passions: good books, fine champagne, laughter and pigs.

“I am never more at home with a coupe of Bollinger in one hand, a pork pie in the other, and a smile on my face.”

Judge David Campbell said: “The Accidental Collector is an outrageous send up of the contemporary art world.

“It’s perceptive, hugely entertaining and full of surprises: it proved the perfect lockdown read.

“The shortlist in our 21st year for the prize was a vintage one, but over a few glasses of Bollinger the judges agreed that Guy’s book was the one that continually made us laugh and it emerged the winner.”

Previous winners of the prize include Jonathan Coe’s The Rotters Club and Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ Baby: The Diaries.