South Scotland

Borders Book Festival promises 'pure enjoyment'

Kate Humble
Image caption Kate Humble will help to kick off proceedings on the opening day of the festival

More than 100 events are being held over four days as the Borders Book Festival begins in Melrose.

Snooker star Stephen Hendry, television wildlife expert Kate Humble and historian Neil Oliver are part of the opening day's proceedings.

Festival director Alistair Moffat said the stage was set for "lively debate, fun and laughter".

He said that big names and lesser-known storytellers promised a "bumper weekend of pure enjoyment".

Image copyright Walter Scott Prize
Image caption The winner of the Walter Scott Prize will be announced as part of the programme

The programme includes figures from a wide range of fields.

Sporting heroes David Coulthard, Bob Champion and Gregor Townsend are among those scheduled to appear.

Comedians Alexei Sayle, Susan Calman and Jan Ravens are also in the line-up.

A number of politicians and political experts will make an appearance over the weekend too.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Susan Calman is among dozens of speakers at the festival

The festival will also see the presentation of the 10th anniversary edition of the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction.

The shortlist includes Peter Carey, Cressida Connolly, Samantha Harvey, Andrew Miller, Michael Ondaatje and Robin Robertson.

Mairi Kidd, of Creative Scotland, said the festival had put together a "diverse, current and imaginative programme with something for everyone".

"It's particularly good to see such a strong offer for younger audiences and their families, and that Scottish writers sit firmly at the heart of the programme," she added.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Snooker legend Stephen Hendry is one of a number of sports stars coming to Melrose

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