Benny no-mates

Fans snub book signing

Ben Elton has been snubbed at a book signing, when only two people turned up.

And even they only stumbled on the event by mistake.

The comic had planned to spend an hour meeting fans at the Ottaker's book store in Carlisle on Thursday, but he had to cut short his visit when the expected queues failed to materialise.

One of the two readers who did show up, Andy Coates, told the city's News & Star newspaper: 'I didn’t realise he was here.

'But meeting him has made my day. I’ve read two of his novels and got two more for Christmas. '

Even before the event, Elton admitted: 'Nobody might turn up, but I’m a really successful novelist and like to support local bookshops. Terry Pratchett said he has had signings where no-one turns up.'

The snub contrasts with Michael Palin, who drew more than 700 fans to the bookshop in 2004, and former England manager Sir Bobby Robson, who attracted 400.

Elton was supposed to be promoting his war novel The First Casualty, and his  stand-up tour, which visits Carlisle's Sands Centre next month.


Published: 15 Jan 2006

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