British rockers Alt-J have won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize for their album An Awesome Wave.

The four-piece had been bookmakers' favourites to take home the annual honour for their debut, which was named Britain's best album of the past year at a ceremony in London on Thursday (01Nov12).

The band triumphed over a shortlist of 11 other albums, which included Plan B's Ill Manors, Richard Hawley's Standing at the Sky's Edge, Michael Kiwanuka (Home Again), Lianne La Havas (Is Your Love Big Enough?), Ben Howard (Every Kingdom) and Sam Lee (Ground Of Its Own).

Previous winners of the Mercury Prize - established in 1992 to celebrate the best of British and Irish music - include the Arctic Monkeys, Elbow and Franz Ferdinand.