CHIPPING Norton was packed with famous faces over the weekend when a popular four-day literary event returned to the town.

Nearly 3,000 tickets were sold for the second Chipping Norton Literary Festival which started last Thursday.

A third of all events were sold out as visitors flocked to hear speakers including Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, presenter Fern Britton, comedian Arthur Smith, author Joanna Cotterill and scientist Richard Dawkins.

There were more than 50 talks, discussion panels, signings, readings and children’s events taking place at venues across the town.

New this year were the ‘ChipLitChunks’, two-and-ahalf- hour in-depth workshops and an hour-long ‘ChipLitBit’, with subjects including social media and writing historical fiction.

Clare Mackintosh, artistic director, said the event was a great success.

“The good weather in town made the atmosphere even better,” she said.

“We sold out of about a third of the events. Lots of people will need to book a bit earlier next year.

“It was as successful as I had hoped it would be. We’ve got a fantastic team of people and we had a fantastic lineup of authors. It was absolutely brilliant.

“Julian Fellowes’ talk was extraordinary. His [book] signing queue curled all around the theatre bar.”