Journalist and television presenter Giles Coren is adamant that Will Self's avant-garde novel Umbrella will win the prestigious Booker Prize at tonight's ceremony in London. Though the prize is assumed to be a two-horse race, between Self and Hilary Mantel, the bookmakers appear to have no idea who will be crowned the victor.
Bet365.com, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes have Self as the favourite at 6/4, though William Hill are still offering 2/1 on the writer, favouring Mantel to take the prize for 'Bring Up The Bodies.' Should the 60-year-old author win the £50,000 prize London's Guildhall tonight, she would become the first woman and first British writer to win the Booker twice. Coren, who has correctly predicted the winner of the literary prize on the last two occasions (including when Harold Jacobson won at long odds last year) says it will almost certainly be Will Self's night. In fact, he's so confident that he's looking to have a bet himself, asking Twitter followers on Monday, "I want to put a grand on Will Self to win the Booker but can't find better than 2-1, which isn't really worth it. Anyone want to give me 3?" Later on his Tumblr page, Coren cemented his predictions, saying, "Giles Coren would like to inform you that the 2012 prize will be won by Will Self for Umbrella. Giles says he will be at the awards dinner tomorrow night in his "crusty old black tie" to tweet "I told you so" around 8pm. Any mea culpa is probably optional."
So there you go literary fans. Will Self will win tonight's Booker Prize. Based on Coren's previous form, it's certainly worth a tenner, no?