LIKE a good book, the Red Funnel Isle of Wight Literary Festival was difficult to say goodbye to following another packed programme involving more than 60 published writers.

Boasting a bigger box office, festival cafe, and a bar marquee covering almost the entire Rotunda car park, a considerable 32 per cent of bookings were made off the Island.

The 7th iteration of the annual event ­began on Thursday with a melange of Island talent, ranging from established local historians and authors to silver-tongued poets.

James Rayner covered his book, detailing the story of the Island 's hidden international history, and Heather Cooper treated audiences to a talk on her first novel, Stealing Roses, set in Cowes in 1862.

On Friday, perennial favourite, the Fizz Quiz, was proceeded by international talent in writer and news columnist, A.N. Wilson, author Andrew Roberts and barrister Sarah Langford.

Saturday welcomed renowned journalist, Kate Adie, Alexander McCall Smith, Tristram Hunt, Bobby Seagull, and satirist, Craig Brown.

The audience was in awe of Kate Adie, having spent years watching her report from war zones from the comfort of their armchairs.

She insisted she had been lucky in her career, not brave, which everyone quite rightly disagreed with.

She spoke with passion on the Chinese denial of Tiananmen Square ­— her fury still evident that despite reporting truths, it was still being taught as fake news in China.

She also spoke about the importance of grassroots journalism and how local reporters should scrutinise councils and cover court cases.

History guy, Dan Snow, took listeners on a whistle-stop tour through the most interesting and important moments of the last 3,000 years on Sunday, and best-selling author, Tom Bradby, talked about his thriller, Secret Service.

There was a packed marquee for comedian and reluctant 'national treasure' Jo Brand, who got everyone belly-laughing within seconds.

Everyone was treated to a copy of her book Born Lippy and she was more than happy to autograph copies at the end of the talk.

She covered a wide range of subject matter, through her career in comedy, her ten years as a psychiatric nurse, her marriage ­— which finally stopped the tabloids calling her a lesbian ­— and her views on feminism.

Programme director Julia Dams said: "2019 has been an outstanding year for us, welcoming so many wonderful speakers.

"Our footfall was the largest we have seen with venues often filled to capacity and waiting lists for some events.

"The festival goes from strength to strength, and we look forward to a very exciting 2020."

Despite the weather, nearly 6,000 tickets were sold, and more than 2,000 people attended the four-day festival.

Next year's dates are October 8 to 11, 2020.