A book which chronicles the hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking struggles of an NHS junior doctor has won big at the National Book Awards.
Speaking to Sky News dressed in a suit that resembles hospital scrubs, Kay said: “As a doctor you’re obliged to keep records and reflect on what happened to you at work, so this reflective practice just turned into me writing down what happened that was in any way interesting.
“The bad days do out number the good by the very nature of the job, so you have to look for the funny things. And patients will always do amazing things, crazy things, stick terrible things in places they shouldn’t have done and other things we can’t talk about on Sky.”
The book earned Kay awards for New Writer Of The Year, Popular Nonfiction Book Of The Year, and the Book Club Book Of The Year.
In the book, Kay talks about his patients, colleagues and how 97-hour weeks affected his friendships and relationships.
And the fact that the parking meter outside earned more than him.
The junior doctor dispute of 2015 which led to industrial action was what inspired Kay to turn his memoirs into a book.
“I realised that doctors weren’t getting their side of the story across… that they weren’t striking because they were greedy and wanted more money, it was actually about working conditions and patient safety.
“I wanted anyone reading the book to get to the end and think it’s nonsensical that doctors could possibly be in this game for the money.
“Doctors are human beings. They get sick and get sad and have to go home at night. Usually three hours late.”
Other winners on the night include novelist Philip Pullman who was crowned Author Of The Year, and was honoured alongside inspiring stories for young boys, and a collection of feminist essays.
Irish writer Sally Rooney scooped Best International Author for Normal People, and Best Audiobook went to Carlo Rovelli’s The Order of Time, read by screen star Benedict Cumberbatch.
Stories For Boys Who Dare To Be Different, by Ben Brooks and illustrated by Quinton Winter, was named Children’s Book Of The Year.
Also at the awards was Bake Off star Prue Leith, 78, who was nominated for the Food And Drink book of the year.
Asked about her Twitter mishap on last year’s show, where she accidentally revealed the winner before it aired on TV, she told Sky News she would never live it down.
“It was really the worst day of my life doing that, and I didn’t mean to do it and everybody was absolutely sweet about it. A few people on Twitter said I had ruined their lives which I thought was a bit over the top.”