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Tom Stoppard: World events make play-writing difficult

Sir Tom Stoppard - described as Britain's greatest living dramatist - has said tumultuous world events have made it difficult to write a new play.

The 80-year-old, who has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and the stage, followed in the footsteps of Harold Pinter, Hilary Mantel and Seamus Heaney on Wednesday night, as the winner of a £40,000 literature prize.

But he said Donald Trump, Brexit, climate change, and the rise of artificial intelligence and social media caused a headache when it came to putting pen to paper.

"I have been seriously worrying about what kind of play I should be trying to write.

"I'm surrounded by huge, huge topics, really important topics...you feel you ought to be engaging in it and yet the subjects are so huge and so difficult to structure..."

Sir Tom, known for Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead and Rock 'n' Roll, has won the David Cohen Prize For Literature, which is awarded every two years.

The prize, now in its 25th year, is announced in recognition of a living writer's lifetime achievement in literature.