Organisers of the Borders Book Festival have announced the full programme for this year’s event – with veteran Monty Python star John Cleese and tennis coach Judy Murray topping the bill.
A host of internationally-acclaimed writers, celebrities and guest speakers will descend on the Scottish Borders town of Melrose for the four-day event in June – which celebrates the best of Scottish and world literature.
For the first time global investment managers Baillie Gifford will be the event’s main sponsor, replacing Brewin Dolphin, which takes place at Harmony Garden from 15th to 18th June.
The event, now in its 14th year, will also benefit from grant funding from Arts & Business Scotland (A&BS), a Scottish Government-backed national charity which encourages and promotes new and sustainable collaborations between the creative and business sectors and EventScotland through its Beacon Funding Programme. Arts & Business Scotland has recognised the festival’s new partnership with Douglas Home & Co by awarding a New Arts Sponsorship Grant in the form of match funding.
The programme of over 100 events includes best-selling novelists Joanna Trollope and Arabella Weir, journalist Misha Glenny; broadcaster James Naughtie; satirist and Private Eye co-founder Richard Ingrams; gardening expert Carol Klein; star of Dinner Ladies and Last Tango in Halifax Anne Reid, and No. 1 crime writers Val McDermid, and Ann Cleeves, best known for the TV hit series Vera and Shetland.
With the festival now supported by Baillie Gifford, 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 and politician and diplomat, Rory Stewart MP.
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 four-day event will also play host to a variety of child and family-focused crafts, activities and creative workshops along with live music, a street market, tented food village, champagne and whisky tastings.
Alistair Moffat, Festival Director and a past director of the Edinburgh Fringe, said: “Every year we aim to bring some magic to the Borders within the walls of Harmony Garden and this year is no exception. John Cleese, Michael Parkinson, Judy Murray, Anne Reid, Richard Ingrams, Allan Little, Steve Backshall, Rory Bremner, Jim Naughtie, Carol Klein, Joanna Trollope, and Melvyn Bragg will all, without doubt, enthral our audiences.
We welcome our new title sponsor Baillie Gifford and look forward to a weekend of live debate, laughter and entertainment.”
James Budden, Director Marketing and Distribution at Baillie Gifford added:“We have been trying to sponsor the Borders Book Festival for some time. It should prove a great fit with the other dozen or so festivals Baillie Gifford is associated with in the UK. So it is fantastic to be supporting such a successful literary experience. Being somewhat bookish ourselves we look forward to being involved in the occasion over the next few years at least.”