Grayson Perry, the artist who gained ‘national treasure’ status following his series of Reith Lectures last year, is to receive the 25th Critics’ Circle Annual Award for Distinguished Services to the Arts in Britain.

The Turner Prize winner, who was also awarded a CBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours list last summer, will be the first visual artist to receive the Critics’ Circle award in its history. The award will be made at a lunch event held at Elena’s L’Etoile restaurant, London this Friday, 28 March.

Since 1988, the Critics’ Circle has presented a special award to honour those who have rendered long and distinguished service to the arts. The award is voted for by the entire membership of the Circle, the professional association of British critics, with each of the five sections – drama, music, dance, film and visual arts and architecture – nominating a candidate.

Perry was nominated for his contribution not only to the visual arts and architecture, but for his services to the arts. The other nominees this year were the director of the National Theatre Sir Nicholas Hytner, the ballet dancer Sylvie Guillem, actor Jim Broadbent and music critic Michael Kennedy.