Not everyone enjoyed John Berger's winning speech...
Proof of the prize’s new high profile came when John Berger used his platform as winner to make things political and donated half his prize money to the Black Panther movement.
Berger took umbrage with the prize sponsor, Booker McConnell. The food group, said the Marxist art critic and novelist, had benefited from more than a century of colonial exploitation in the West Indies so he was giving half his winnings to the British Black Panthers and keeping the other half for a study of migrant workers.
The fuss did wonders for the profile of the prize but less so for Berger (‘a literary thug’ as one newspaper named him) at the time, or his overshadowed winning novel, G.