Neil Oliver finds Book Festival a family affair

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Popular television archaeologist Neil Oliver, the owner of the most famous long locks on the small screen, happily admits his interest in the vikings was sparked, like for many of us, by watching Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis pretend to be Norse raiders for movie audiences.

Speaking to The Southern ahead of his appearance on Sunday evening at this year’s Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival, Oliver was in Melrose to talk to a sell-out audience about his new book on the vikings.

Neil Oliver

Neil Oliver

“We’re having a lovely time at the festival,” said Oliver, who was accompanied by his family.

“I don’t think I’ve ever brought the family to one of these festivals before.

“Usually I’m just in an out, do the talk and leave.

“It’s great. The kids are enjoying going to some of the events and we’re having a splendid weekend.”

Asked about his interest in the vikings, he told us: “To be truthful, my interest in the vikings was founded upon seeing Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis in The Vikings.

“It wasn’t really in my field of study.I was an archaeologist and studied Scottish pre-history.

“But there would be sites I was working on and we would find viking in the layers above or below what we were actually looking for.

“You would stumble across them – they were there.”