Something for everyone in this month’s offerings

There’s something for everyone in the Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival online offerings for September.

Saturday, 29th August 2020, 10:19 am
Jay Rayner

Festival organisers have been putting on a series of free virtual shows for literary fans who were denied this year’s event due to the coronavirus lockdown.

And there’s plenty in their final programme of events in September to whet the appetite of many, before organisers turn their sights towards next year.

listair Moffat, festival director, said: “We’ve certainly missed the atmosphere and buzz of Harmony Gardens this summer, but the online programme has proved a huge success with our regular audience, as well as bringing new visitors to the book festival from the comfort of their own home.

Sir Chris Hoy.

“None of which would have been possible without the continued support of Baillie Gifford, McInroy & Wood, Creative Scotland, Saltire Roofing & Building and Scottish Borders Council, as well as our other sponsors.

“We are eternally grateful to them all.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Harmony Gardens next summer to be together again.”

Amongst the highlights are food writer and restaurant critic Jay Rayner; Olympic champion cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, historian Neil Oliver; best-selling novelist Ken Follett; former war reporter and independent politician Martin Bell; comedian Janey Godley; Springwatch TV presenter Kate Humble; broadcaster and political commentator Andrew Marr and Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark.

Kirsty Wark

There’s an abundance of rich and diverse events scheduled every Sunday, so much so it will spill over into October and include special mid-week events too.

All the family can join in the Saltire Roofing & Building Family Series on a Sunday morning at 11am, followed by the adult events at 4pm & 7pm.

Here’s the full line-up for September.

Sunday, September 6: 11am – award winning nature author Nicola Davies takes children on a magical journey to discover the world of butterflies through the heart-warming story of one little girl. 4pm – food writer and restaurant critic Jay Rayner talks to Viv Groskop about his entertaining food memoir, a quest to create his perfect Last Supper. 7pm – world renowned forensic anthropologist Prof. Sue Black and leading pathologist Dr Richard Shepherd discuss bones and the truth behind what our bodies leave behind after death.

Janey Godley

Sunday, September 13: 11am – Join mega-selling Horrible Histories illustrator Martin Brown for a fun-filled look at his book Lesser Spotted Animals. 4pm – World-leading expert in chemical warfare and counter terrorism, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon talks candidly about his own experience at the frontline and over 20 years of humanitarian work. 7pm – Douglas Stuart’s moving debut novel Shuggie Bain, set in 1980’s Glasgow, has been nominated for this year’s Booker Prize. He talks to Kirsty Wark.

Thursday, September 17: 7.30pm – Former war reporter Martin Bell delivers the McInroy & Wood lecture. In conversation with fellow war correspondent Allan Little, he draws on his years of experience at the heart of conflict to discuss the cycle of war and what can be done, if anything, to resolve it.

Sunday, September 20: 11am – Illustrator Guy Parker Rees, best known for the much-loved classic Giraffes Can’t Dance, tells the story of his latest book Elephant Me. 4pm – TV historian Neil Oliver talks to festival director Alistair Moffat about his latest work, Wisdom of The Ancients. 7pm – master storyteller and bestselling novelist, Ken Follett on his recently published historical novel The Evening and the Morning.

Thursday, September 22: 7.30pm – in the new normal of lockdown and restrictions, Kate Humble’s A Year of Living Simply is timely. Sunday, September 27 – 11am – spaceflight expert Libby Jackson reveals the best true stories of journeys into space with her new anthology Space Explorers. 4pm – writer and historian, Alistair Moffat talks about his latest book In Search of Angels. 7pm – Kirsty Wark on her compelling new novel The House by The Loch.

Kate Humble

Sunday, October 4: 11am – Sir Chris Hoy, six-time gold medal winner and Great Britain’s most successful Olympian ever, talks about his personal journey.

4pm – BBC broadcaster and political commentator, Andrew Marr explores how as a nation we have evolved during the Queen’s long reign in his fascinating new book Elizabethans: How Modern Britain Was Forged.

7pm – Scottish comedian Janey Godley talks to Val McDermid about her memoir Handstands in the Dark and her career in stand-up.

All events from the July and August programme are still available to view for free at any time by clicking here.

Neil Oliver