Look Prue’s coming to Melrose!

Prue Leith will attend this year's Borders Book Festival in Melrose
Prue Leith will attend this year's Borders Book Festival in Melrose

Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith is among the high-profile talent set to grace the 15th Borders Book Festival from June 14-17.

The telly cookery expert joins comedian and ventriloquist Nina Conti – who is making a welcome return to the festival – mountaineer Chris Bonington and authors Kate Mosse (Labyrinth, Sepulchre), Ian Rankin (Rebus novels) and Antony Beevor (Second World War specialist).

Title sponsor Baillie Gifford is supporting a series of non-fiction events, including Gordon Brown, Alexander McCall Smith and Stacey Dooley.

Alistair Moffat, festival director, said: “It’s incredible we are delivering our 15th book festival programme. In an age of digital entertainment at our fingertips, the appetite for live talks and debate is as popular as ever.

“We had a record number of visitors last year and we’re looking forward to welcoming them back for another enjoyable weekend in June, as well bringing in new audiences.

“We are also delighted to welcome McInroy & Wood and Nairn’s Oatcakes as new sponsors to the Borders Book Festival and the continued support from funders and sponsors, especially our title sponsor Baillie Gifford.”

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, April 24, for the event, which takes place in the grounds of Harmony House, in Melrose.

The festival is established as one of the leading literary festivals in Britain, boasting a broad programme of more than 100 events over four days with live talks, debates and entertainment.

This year’s Family Book Festival will be sponsored for the first time by Nairn’s Oatcakes. Taking place over Saturda and Sunday, June 16 & 17, the Nairn’s Family Book Festival will include author events, live music, theatre and kids’ craft activities such as printing, writing and illustration workshops.

Last year’s sell-out Borders Book Festival Lecture will be presented by new key sponsors McInroy & Wood, who will also sponsor a marquee which will be one of the key festival venues.

The festival also includes the Scottish Borders Housing Association Schools Gala Day on Thursday, June 14, which sees more than 1,500 children and teachers attending from primary schools across the Borders, as well as the announcement of this year’s winner of the prestigious £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction on Saturday, June 16.

Locally-brewed Tempest Beer and other produce from the Borders will be available at this year’s bars, which will be run by Hickory Bars, and there will be fantastic food stalls in The Orchard.

To become a supporter or patron of the festival, visit www.bordersbookfestival.org/support

Tickets for the festival will be available at noon on April 24 from Hub Tickets, at www.bordersbookfestival.org or at 0131 473 2000.