Bill Murray to receive top prize for humour

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Bill Murray will get the sort of attention he doesn't usually seek out when he's honoured with America's top prize for humour.

The notoriously elusive and publicity-shy actor will be given the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour at a ceremony at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC.

Bill Murray
Bill Murray (David Crotty/AP)

The 66-year-old joins several other Saturday Night Live alumni who have received the prize, including Tina Fey, Will Ferrell and last year's winner, Eddie Murphy.

The prize was first awarded in 1998 and goes to those who influence society in the tradition of Samuel Clemens, the writer and satirist better known as Mark Twain.