Richard Osman at the Cheltenham Literature Festival Review

Known for his extensive knowledge, ‘Pointless’ friend and 6 ft 7-ness Richard Osman returns to Cheltenham Literature Festival. This year he has gone solo and is accompanied by only his book of The World Cup of Everything.

I saw Richard and Alexander last year at the festival and I loved listening to the two of them be interviewed about their “Pointless Book” and life working on the show. But I’m sad to say this year I was a little disappointed. Despite a promising start of a bit of stand up talking about his book tour and the places he had been, the rest of the event seemed to lack a certain something…

We first debated on the best chocolate bar, cheering for our favourite as all the bars were put head to head in knockout rounds. Each time a bar was held up the audience “ooohed” and “ahhed” as if we were at the pantomime. This was admittedly fun to begin with but quickly lost its novelty. Then we moved on to other topics such as sitcoms and animals as volunteers went and stood next to our towering host to represent the audience as they voted for their. No pressure on them as they moved across the stage deciding whether bunnies were better than hippos and knocking out The Royle Family in the very early stages. There is nothing like putting the Toblerone up against a Double Decker or proposing that Red Dwarf is better than Father Ted to get people really riled up.

The description of the event does state we will be debating but I just expected a little more than only that. It was still an entertaining event, but after a while got a little repetitive and dull due to the lack of substance. I felt a little scrooge-like sat with my notebook as everyone cheered around me, but it wasn’t till about three quarters of the way through when the audience started to leave early that I realised I wasn’t the only one finding it a little dry and tiring.

Maltesers won by the way, rightfully so.


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