South Scotland

Borders book festival under way in Melrose

Borders Book Festival logo
Image caption The book festival contains two major literary awards this year

The Borders books festival is set to get under way in Melrose with a major new literary award part of the event.

The seventh annual event runs from Thursday until Sunday and will include figures such as John Prescott, Robert Harris, Rory Bremner and Victoria Wood.

This year the new £25,000 Walter Scott prize for historical fiction will be presented at Abbotsford House.

The £30,000 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust book of the year will also be given out during the event.

Festival director Alistair Moffat said there was a definite political and journalistic theme to this year's proceedings.

"The world comes to Melrose a little bit - all our correspondents come to report to us about what the world is doing out there," he said.

"We open with Jim Naughtie describing the new political landscape.

"We have got John Simpson coming to talk about his overview of reporting through the years, and we have got Kate Adie."

He said the political list included John and Pauline Prescott, Chris Mullin and Shirley Williams.

"Somebody is going to explain the coalition to us at some point I suspect," he added.

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