Mercury Music Prize winner PJ Harvey has spoken of her shock at the US terrorist attacks.

She was in Washington as it was announced she had won for her album ‘Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea’.

Harvey missed the prize-giving ceremony in London because she was touring the US with her band. She had to give her thanks over a phone link to guests and judges.

"Obviously I'm absolutely shocked on a day like today, it was the last thing I was expecting," she said. "This whole city is in shock. Myself and my band are involved in all that, we can see the Pentagon from our window. It's hard to take it in."

Harvey said she had already begun writing songs for her next album. She said: "I'll be interested in exploring different ground next time. I write all the time."

Winning the Mercury can boost sales of the winner's albums as well as creating a wave of publicity for their work. It also has the added bonus of a £20,000 prize.