MONTY PYTHON star John Cleese, TV presenter Michael Parkinson and tennis coach Judy Murray are part of a “brilliant roster” of figures appearing at a summer book festival.
Best-selling novelists Joanna Trollope and Arabella Weir, crime writers Val McDermid and Ann Cleeves and broadcaster James Naughtie are also in the line-up for the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival in Melrose.
The full programme for the event was announced on Wednesday as tickets go on sale for the fourteenth festival, which runs from June 15 to 18.
The programme of more than 100 events includes satirist and Private Eye co-founder Richard Ingrams, gardening expert Carol Klein, wildlife TV presenter Steve Backshall and political satirist and impressionist Rory Bremner.
Younger audiences can choose from a host of events at the SBHA Family Book Festival, with Philip Ardagh, Guy Bass, Vivian French, Petr Horacek and Derek Landy among those appearing.
Kaite Welsh, literature officer at Creative Scotland, said: “Since its inception, Borders Book Festival has been an essential fixture in the literary calendar.
“Always with a diverse programme of literary events in a beautiful setting, the talks enthral younger readers and stimulate debate in older ones.
“With a brilliant roster of well-known and emerging voices, 2017’s festival promises to be a highlight.”
Throughout the four-day event there will be live music, a street market, tented food village, champagne and whisky tastings and kids’ storytelling and circus skills.
The winner of this year’s £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction will be announced on June 17, from a shortlist including books by Sebastian Barry, Rose Tremain and Graham Swift.
Festival director Alistair Moffat said: “Every year we aim to bring some magic to the Borders within the walls of Harmony Garden and this year is no exception.
“We welcome our new title sponsor Baillie Gifford and look forward to a weekend of live debate, laughter and entertainment.”
The festival is supported by new headline sponsor Baillie Gifford, with the ongoing sponsorship and backing of Scottish Borders Council, EventScotland, Brewin Dolphin, The National Trust for Scotland, Scottish Borders Housing Association, Arts & Business Scotland and the National Lottery through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, as well as the book festival’s many other supporters.
This year the programme will incorporate a new Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Non-Fiction series featuring high-profile events on a variety of topical subjects by experts in their field including political journalist Tim Shipman, current affairs commentator and writer James Fergusson and politician and diplomat, Rory Stewart.
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