Amanda Holden was ticket flop but Cheltenham Lit Fest hailed a success
A STAR-STUDDED line-up ensured this year's Cheltenham Literature Festival was right up there with the biggest and best so far.
With its dazzling array of big-name authors, journalists, politicians and sporting heroes, book lovers will be sorry to say goodbye to the event that finished on Sunday.
Organisers are hailing one of the most successful events in the festival's 64-year history, with 135,000 tickets sold, and literature fans descending on Cheltenham from all over the UK.
Among the main draws were UKIP leader Nigel Farage and former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell.
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Other headline speakers included broadcaster Jeremy Paxman, cricket legend Ian Botham, Birdsong author Sebastian Faulks and historian David Starkey.
However, not all speakers proved a hit.
There were yawning gaps in the audience when Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden arrived to speak about her life.
It has raised questions about whether Cheltenham's Literature Festival crowd prefers the more "serious" speakers to celebrity events.
Jane Furze, festival director, said: "The festival went incredibly well once again.
"As well as bringing internationally renowned names to the county, it also attracted thousands of visitors.
"We've had wonderful feedback about the events and the festival overall."