Borders Book Festival is back, bigger and better

The programme for this year’s Borders Book Festival, which takes place at Harmony Gardens from June 16-19 was launched on Tuesday, with a delighted festival director Alistair Moffat declaring: “We’re back!”

By Kevin Janiak
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 3:03 pm
Alistair Moffat at the launch of this year's Borders Book Festival programme.
Alistair Moffat at the launch of this year's Borders Book Festival programme.

Mr Moffat promised a festival of fun … “and boy do we need it”, along with a plethora of authors, festival favourites and family events.

The diverse programme of more than 100 shows includes the fabulous Joanna Lumley on her book about the Queen; comics Julian Clary and Jack Dee; current affairs heavyweights Andrew Marr, Clive Myrie, Gavin Esler and Allan Little; former cabinet minister Ed Balls with his very personal memoir; crime-writing royalty Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre and Mark Billingham; journalists and social commentators Darren McGarvey, Jonathan Freedland and Fintan O’Toole; bestselling novelists Lisa Jewell and Jenny Colgan; much-loved Yorkshire writer and humorous raconteur Gervase Phinn; TV wine expert Helen McGinn and BBC’s The Great British Sewing Bee judge, Esme Young.

Book Festival favourite Rory Bremner returns with two exclusive events: The Scottish Impressionists, alongside Ronni Ancona, and Lewis MacLeod, as well as I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Buccleuch, a special Borders Book Festival edition of the legendary BBC radio comedy panel game, I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, hosted by the inimitable Jack Dee, with panellists Miles Jupp, Rory Bremner, Pippa Evans and Tony Hawks and music by Colin Sell.

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Alastair Moffat at the launch of the book festival programme at the Great Tapestry of Scotland building.

Taking time away from covering the war in Ukraine, Clive Myrie hosts a special Melrose edition of Mastermind, with well-known guests seated in the original black chair, lent by Sally Magnusson.

Mr Moffat, said: “We’re back with a bang! This year’s programme will delight the crowds with what everyone has come to expect of the Borders Book Festival: lively debate, a broadening of minds, insightfulness -- and, of course, a good dose of fun and laughter along the way.

“We’re grateful to our principal sponsor Baillie Gifford, Key Sponsor McInroy & Wood, Family Book Festival sponsor Saltire Roofing and Building, and supporters Creative Scotland, VisitScotland and Scottish Borders Council, who’ve stood by us through this difficult period.

“It seems more fitting than ever to be back for four days of fun and celebration of the written word in what is Scotland’s Year of Stories. And I’m sure this year’s festival will mean we’ll have even more stories of our own to tell for years to come!”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​