Star-studded line-up for Melrose Book Festival

Michelle McLeod and Victoria Bale from sponsors Baillie Gifford share a joke at the launch of the 2017 Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival at The Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh
Michelle McLeod and Victoria Bale from sponsors Baillie Gifford share a joke at the launch of the 2017 Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival at The Glasshouse Hotel in Edinburgh

John Cleese, Michael Parkinson, and Judy Murray headline next month’s Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival.

Tickets are now on sale for the 14th book festival, which runs from June 15-18. Harmony Garden in Melrose will provide the stunning backdrop for this rich and lively festival, welcoming some of the biggest names from the world of books, entertainment and politics.

The programme of over 100 events includes best-selling novelists Joanna Trollope and Arabella Weir, journalist Misha Glenny, broadcaster James Naughtie, Private Eye co-founder Richard Ingrams, gardening expert Carol Klein, star of Dinner Ladies and Last Tango in Halifax Anne Reid, No. 1 crime writers Val McDermid, and Ann Cleeves, best-known for the TV hit series Vera and Shetland.

Also from the world of crime, Chris Brookmyre and Mark Billingham are back by popular demand, as well as foodie raconteur Jay Rayner with his Ten (Food) Commandments, wildlife TV-presenter Steve Backshall, Top Gear’s Richard Porter and political satirist and impressionist Rory Bremner.

The programme will incorporate a new Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Non-Fiction series featuring events on a variety of subjects by experts in their field including political journalist Tim Shipman, current affairs commentator James Fergusson and politician/diplomat, Rory Stewart.

Former BBC correspondent Allan Little, who has reported for over 30 years from more than 80 countries, will be delivering the inaugural Brewin Dolphin Lecture on the rapidly changing political world we are currently facing and where it will likely lead to.

The winner of this year’s prestigious £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction will be announced on June 17, from a shortlist that includes Sebastian Barry, Rose Tremain and Graham Swift.

Throughout the festival, there will be live music, a street market, food village, champagne and whisky tastings and kids’ storytelling and circus skills, making the book festival a great day out for all the family. For full details visit www.bordersbookfestival.org.