Exciting chapter for Book Festival

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The Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival gets off to an absolutely fabulous start today, Thursday, June 12, with comic genius Jennifer Saunders being joined on the opening night by leading politician Paddy Ashdown; Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason; adventurer and explorer Steve Backshall; broadcaster Kate Adie and novelist and screen writer Lynda La Plante.

As part of Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival will, over the four days, welcome a host of big names from the world of literature, politics, stage and screen.

With less than 100 days to go before Scotland decides its future, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown will take to the stage to talk about his vision of Scottishness and how Scotland might lead Britain, not leave it. Political rivals Michael Forsyth, former Secretary of State for Scotland and Jim Sillars, former Deputy Leader of the Scottish National Party, continue the debate as they argue with passion, intellect and wit on the most important issue facing Scotland.

Other highlights of this year’s event at Melrose’s Harmony Garden include Rory Bremner returning to the Borders with a wealth of new material, observations and insight; veteran broadcasters Jon Snow and Allan Little; foodie experts Jay Rayner, Carina Contini and Incredible Spice Men duo Tony Singh and Cyrus Todiwala; as well as masters of crime John Connolly and Chris Brookmyre.

The Family Book Festival, running throughout the Saturday and Sunday, provides a treat for all ages including the BBC’s Simon Mayo with his ‘Itch Rocks’ series for older kids and their parents; Mr Gum’s Andy Stanton; award winning writer Lauren St John, as well as firm favourites ‘Beast Quest’, ‘Famous Five’ and ‘Sir Charlie Stinky Socks’.

For tickets and further information visit www.bordersbookfestival.org.