A BOOK written by an Abermule man has been named the best biography of 2019 at the Costa Book Awards.

Former war reporter Jack Fairweather, 40, said he is "so thrilled" to have scooped the major literary award.

The Volunteer is the story of a Polish war hero who infiltrated a Nazi death camp and saved hundreds of thousands and lives during the Second World War.

Witold Pilecki created an underground resistance army which smuggled evidence of Nazi atrocities out of Auschwitz, via secret messages and radio broadcasts.

"I've gone and won the Costa Biography Award! So thrilled," he said on social media.

"Thank you, Costa Book Awards and the judges, and for everyone's kind messages."

The former Abermule Primary School and Newtown High School pupil added: "It's been such an honour to he considered with three other brilliant books I've loved discovering."

Jack, who lives in the United States, is the fifth author from Wales to have been nominated for a Costa Book Award.

Winners are also awarded in the first novel, novel, poetry and children’s book categories.

The five winning authors each receive £5,000 and are now in the running for the 2019 Costa Book Of The Year, announced later this month.