Bustling Book Festival Come to the Borders

Guest blogger Markus Stitz fills us in on an interesting upcoming event.

This week sees a celebration of literature in the Scottish Borders as the annual Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival arrives in Melrose from 15 to 18 June 2017.


Stars of stage and screen will make their way to Melrose for the four day festival that is opened by actress Anne Reid’s one-woman show about her 50 year long TV career, including her time on Dinner Ladies and Last Tango in Halifax. Some of the other big names appearing at the festival are Fawlty Towers star John Cleese; TV wildlife adventurer Steve Backshall; international tennis coach Judy Murray; bestselling novelist Joanna Trollope and TV’s one and only Michael Parkinson.

A particular highlight of the festival is the story of two Yorkshire mums’ adventures rowing across the Atlantic and Rory Stewart talking about his experience of walking 600 miles over 30 days in the borderlands between England and Scotland.

Copyright - Nancy Macdonald
Louise Gray © Nancy Macdonald

On Friday Louise Gray hosts a discussion of her new book ‘The Ethical Carnivore’ that explores how she decided to only eat animals that she had killed herself, starting with fishing and oyster shucking and moving on to rabbits and deer.

Fans of Top Gear will enjoy hearing from Richard Porter on Sunday. He worked as script editor on Top Gear from 2002 all the way through to 2015 and is now script editor for The Grand Tour. His book ‘And On That Bombshell’ gives a behind the scenes insight into the show and what it is really like to work with Jeremy Clarkson!

Richard Porter

In her new book ‘The Children of Jocasta’ Natalie Haynes reimagines the Oedipus and Antigone stories from the perspectives of two of the women who have often been overlooked: Jocasta and Ismene. Natalie combines stand-up comedy with her passion for classical literature and will wow the audience on Thursday evening.

Border Book Festival

The Family Book Festival runs through Saturday and Sunday with fun for the whole family and an array of children’s authors including Philip Ardagh, Petr Horacek, Guy Bass, Vivian French, and bestselling author Derek Landy.

Entry to the festival site is free and there will be live music, street food, gift stalls and a food village with some fine local produce. There are also free events for children including storytelling, stilt walkers and circus skills.

The festival runs every June, so why not get booked in at a Scottish Borders holiday cottage ready to enjoy the festival in 2018? More information on the Borders Book Festival can be found at http://www.bordersbookfestival.org.

Markus Stitz, Guest Blogger

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