NEWS
23/01/2012 03:29 GMT | Updated 23/03/2012 05:12 GMT

Move Over Rushdie - Oprah Winfrey Steals Show At Jaipur Literary Festival

Forget Salman Rushdie – the Jaipur Literary Festival has found a new hero as American chat show host Oprah Winfrey breezed in and stole the show.

A sense of anti-climax has hung over India’s biggest literary festival since the country’s most famous author had to cancel his appearance because of death threats.

But what better way to lift the gloom than with a sprinkle of American glamour as the 57-year-old took to the stage in traditional Indian dress to describe her first visit to the country as "one of the greatest life experiences I have ever had."

Like a seasoned comedian working a new city, the queen of US television teased the crowd in between reiterating how much she was enjoying her stay.

"What is it with the red lights?” she asked her fans about traffic in India.

"I mean, does the red light mean stop or not? Or is it just there for your entertainment, I do not get it. What is this?

"I mean the light is red and everybody just keeps going. You all seem to know what they are doing. I can tell you this. I would never be able to drive in this country."

Oprah fans cheer at the Jaipur Literary Festival

According to reports from the BBC, she also talked about the Indian system of multi-generation households, commenting that "it's a glorious thing that in this country, families take care of each other."

The Independent meanwhile raised an eyebrow at her description of her own life as being "like a Taj Mahal” when asked if she’d ever like a building made in her honour.

Whatever point she was making, she was met with thunderous applause from the thousands-strong crowd.

Winfrey’s trip to India began a week ago, where she’s already found time to mix with Bollywood stars and eat dinner with a family living in a Mumbai slum ahead of her visit to Japuir.

Along with dominating TV, finding success in the movie industry and playing a part in political discourse in America, Winfrey is also a success in the publishing world.

She has co-authored five books, including a weight loss guide in 2005 that is believed to have earned the highest book advance fee of all time – topping the figure paid for former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s autobiography.