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Vintage Man Booker


With 50 years of literary history we’ve searched our archive for behind the scenes stories from the prize over the years to bring you Vintage Man Booker... 

Scroll through the years below, visit the archive, watch the videos and listen to our podcasts.  


Watch a clip from the BBC Four documentary Barneys, Books and Bust-Ups: 50 Years of the Booker Prize. The film explores how the Booker Prize revolutionised the world of literary fiction and became a central part of British cultural life. 


"Why do we have a literary prize? Someone asked me just recently what the Man Booker Prize is for. What is its purpose? My answer was that the prize is for readers..." Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Chair of the Booker Prize Foundation, discusses the continued importance of the prize. 

President of the Booker Prize Foundation Jonathan Taylor CBE, on the Booker back story 

A message from Luke Ellis, CEO of Man Group.

Watch the videos from the Golden Man Booker Prize announcements. 

Listen to the 50th anniversary celebration podcasts including the Golden Man Booker Prize and live interviews from the Man Booker 50 Festival at Southbank.

Visit the ​Oxford Brookes Booker Prize Archive for a special 50th anniversary exhibition 50 years of the Booker Prize in 50 items.


The British Library has released Behind the Scenes: The Man Booker at 50, a new film by National Life Stories. It draws on the many hundreds of hours of audio interviews held in the Authors’ Lives collection of the Library’s Sound Archive, to tell a vivid history of the prize.

Author and comedian Adam Kay has written and performed a Man Booker 50 song. A tune owing a debt to Tom Lehrer as much as Gilbert and Sullivan, it features all 51 winners’ names in under a minute — well worth a listen!

Five decades of firsts


  • 1st

    Man Booker 50 Festival and Golden Man Booker Prize, marking the 50th anniversary


  • 1st

    Man Booker International Prize for translated fiction


  • 1st

    American winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction



  • 1st

    Inclusion of writers of any nationality in the Man Booker Prize entry criteria



  • 'Best of Booker' marking the 40th anniversary



  • 1st

    Man Booker International Prize



  • 1stFacebook use in US universities



  • 1st

    Man Booker Prize for Fiction, under the new sponsor Man Group



  • 1st

    Public longlist (24 books)



  • 1st

    Online bookstore



  • 1st

    Electronic novel


  • 'Booker of Bookers' marking the 25th anniversary



  • 1st

    'Network of networks', i.e. internet



  • 1st

    Live BBC TV coverage of 'the Booker'



  • 1st

    Mobile telephone




  • 1st

    Booker Prize for Fiction


View the prize ceremony timeline from the Oxford Brookes Booker Prize Archive

Other archive materials:

Special thanks to the British Library and Oxford Brookes University