PRINCES Risborough Festival has been labelled "barbaric" by one celebrity vegetarian.

The astronomer and broadcaster Heather Couper, who lives in Loosley Row, attacked plans to have a pig roast at this year's town festival.

Last month town councillors voted in favour of forking out more than £1,000 to host the roast themselves at the event to be held later this year.

Ms Couper said: "I am going to boycott the pig roast. As a lifelong vegetarian I am someone who is upset at cruelty to animals and their slaughter. I find the idea totally barbaric. This sort of event should not be the centrepiece of the festival. It is almost like a sacrifice. I am just thinking of the poor pig that is going to be killed."

Ms Couper grew up on a farm and became a vegetarian at the age of four. The festival seemed to have united the warring factions on the town council, she said, but it made her "question the intelligence and values of the Princes Risborough Town Council".

She added: "People do not think about it too deeply and do not think about what they are eating."

She particularly objected to the pig roast but admitted she would have less of a problem with "fun and games with a burger van".

We have the most amazing diversity of life on this planet and it deserves to be respected," she said.

Town council chairman Gary Hall hit back and said he felt the public would like the event.

He said: "I don't think it is barbaric at all. I actually think the pig roast will encourage more people to come. I have the sincerest respect for Heather, but I am a bit saddened that she has not got the same respect for the majority of meat eaters."