Gloucestershire

Cheltenham Literature Festival lineup announced

Terry Wogan
Image caption Terry Wogan is one of many popular faces appearing at the literature festival this Autumn

Full details of the 2011 Cheltenham Literature Festival have been announced by organisers of the annual event.

Screen legend Christopher Lee, actress Joanna Lumley and comedian Johnny Vegas will be amongst 600 guests taking part in the most ambitious programme yet.

Other popular names making an appearance include Hollywood director John Landis, Terry Wogan, Fern Britton, Penelope Keith and Duncan Bannatyne.

The festival takes place in October and tickets go on sale from 15 August.

In the comedy arena Frank Skinner, David Walliams, Ian Hislop and Dave Gorman will be amongst those providing the literary laughs.

Political figures Ed Balls, Tony Benn, Michael Portillo and Jeffrey Archer will be engaging in discussion whilst Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Clarissa Dickson Wright and Lorraine Pascale are to feature in the festival's first food day.

'Bulging programme'

The festival has outgrown its traditional venues and so this year a new 'literary quarter' will be added in Montpellier Gardens with a bookshop, Spiegeltent, caf├ęs and quiet corners filling four new venues.

Sarah Smyth, the festival's artistic director, said: "This year's programme is hugely exciting - not only are we celebrating our move to Montpellier and the birth of the new Festival quarter, but the programme is bulging at the seams with hundreds of mouth-watering events.

"Getting my hands on the brochure for the first time today gave me a huge thrill and I hope that the audience of 120,000 who joined us last year come back for more at what's going to be a tremendously exciting ten days."

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