THE Oxford Literary Festival kicked off with a host of big-name guests at the weekend.

Now in its 18th year, the festival attracts a constellation of stars, starting on Saturday with Jim Naughtie and Peter Snow.

Mr Naughtie, a presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, was in the Sheldonian Theatre talking about his new spy novel The Madness of July while journalist Mr Snow was at Oxford University’s Corpus Christi College discussing his new book, When Britain Burned the White House, about the War of 1812 between the United States and the UK, also known as America’s second war for independence.

The festival runs until Sunday and features hundreds of speakers, including Philip Pullman, Hanif Kureishi, Eleanor Catton and Jeremy Paxman.