Frost is icing on Festival cake

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VETERAN broadcaster and legendary inquisitor Sir David Frost will head a stellar cast at the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival, which runs from June 14-17.

Also confirmed is Jeremy Vine, who will be talking about his art, while festival stalwart Rory Bremner teams up with Kirsty Wark and James Naughtie for a unique one-off event, and a special ‘Melrose Mastermind’ hosted by Sally Magnusson.

Giants of the literary world will grace the stages, with a rare appearance by prizewinning author Hilary Mantel to mark publication of the sequel to Wolf Hall, Richard Holloway talking about his much-heralded memoirs Leaving Alexandria, and three of the UK’s most acclaimed novelists William Boyd, Andrew Miller and Patrick Gale speaking about their new books. And for those with a taste for danger, Andy McNab will launch his new thriller, James Holland will describe the exploits of the Dam Busters, and adventurer Mark Beaumont returns to the festival to speak about the Transatlantic rowing expedition that was nearly his last.

Other big names to feature in 2012 will be Peter Higgs, discoverer of the Higgs boson particle, actors and writers Art Malik and Susan Wooldridge, reunited for the first time since The Jewel in the Crown, Scots Makar Liz Lochhead, war correspondent and Hezbollah hostage Charles Glass, and bestselling Scottish authors Ian Rankin and Iain Banks.

The Family Book Festival once again offers fun for all ages, with acclaimed author Philip Ardagh, Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon, Dr Death and the Med-evil Medicine Show – a scientifically and historically accurate panto for children and adults alike - and the chance to spot Where’s Wally? throughout the weekend as he celebrates his 25th birthday at Harmony. The ‘Family Day Pass’ makes a return, while the Schools Gala Day on 15th June, sponsored by Knight Frank, offers a programme of events with authors, illustrators, performers and stand-up comedians, aimed at nursery and primary children.

Councillor Graham Garvie, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Culture said: “The Festival grows from strength to strength every year. Under Alistair Moffat`s inspiring leadership, it has become a truly international event which brings huge benefits to the Borders economy and also much enjoyment and enlightment to all who attend. Scottish Borders Council are proud to be associated with and pleased to continue their support for it.”

Alistair Moffat, festival director said: “This year we have 34 authors new to Melrose: two of Britain’s very greatest novelists, a visionary television programme maker and inventor of entire genres, two of our best known politicians and two of Britain’s most gifted radio broadcasters. And not only do we have wonderful guests, we have also assembled the best interviewing team imaginable: Kirsty Wark, Sally Magnusson, Rory Bremner and Jim Naughtie. And there is much more.”