Film star Jack Lowden joins line-up for Borders Book Festival

Jack Lowden at an award ceremony in London in March. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
Jack Lowden at an award ceremony in London in March. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Film star Jack Lowden has been added to the bill for this year’s Borders Book Festival.

The 28-year-old, born in Essex but brought up in the Borders, has been booked to read extracts from the six books vying for the £25,000 Walter Scott Prize.

This year’s contenders are Peter Carey’s A Long Way from Home, Cressida Connolly’s After the Party, Samantha Harvey’s The Western Wind, Andrew Miller’s Now We Shall be Entirely Free, Michael Ondaatje’s Warlight and Robin Robertson’s The Long Take.

Lowden’s readings and the announcement of this year’s winner will take place in a marquee at the Melrose festival, just a 16-mile drive from the actor’s family home in Oxton, on Saturday, June 15.

Tickets for that event cost £5. For further details, go to www.bordersbookfestival.org

A spokesperson for the festival said: “It’s exciting news that Jack Lowden, one of today’s finest young actors, is coming to the festival to help us celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Walter Scott Prize, and he will read extracts from the six shortlisted books.”

Prize sponsor and founder Richard Scott, the 10th Duke of Buccleuch, added: “What a feast of exceptional writing has been showcased in Melrose in the 10 years since the founding of the Walter Scott Prize.

“Through the alchemy of historical fiction we have, together, crossed centuries and continents and met a cast of characters who I am sure have touched us all in some way or another.

“This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Ivanhoe, and as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the prize with panache, we will think back on our local genius who set it all in motion.”

Also on the bill for this year’s festival are comedian Alexei Sayle, former special forces soldier Ollie Ollerton, TV presenter Michaela Strachan, snooker player Stephen Hendry, racing driver David Coulthard, politician Ruth Davidson and gardening guru Alan Titchmarsh.

Lowden’s films include 2017’s Dunkirk and England is Mine, last year’s Calibre and Mary, Queen of Scots and this year’s Fighting With My Family.

His next film, gangster movie Fonzo, co-starring Tom Hardy and Matt Dillon, is due out later this year.

He’s also been seen in TV series including 2013’s The Tunnel, 2016’s War and Peace and last year’s The Long Song.