Thursday, July 7, 2022
EntertainmentBorders Book Festival set to open with Sir Jackie Stewart in pole...

Borders Book Festival set to open with Sir Jackie Stewart in pole position

THE BORDERS Book Festival opens its doors this week with motorsport icon Sir Jackie Stewart, OBE opening the four-day event.

Sir Jackie will appear at the festival to tell the story of his life both on and off the track, in aid of Race Against Dementia, the charity he founded.

Following the former F1 star will be novelist Mick Herron, author of spy thriller Slow Horses, joined on stage by actor Jack Lowden, who co-starred alongside Gary Oldman and Kristen Scott Thomas in the recent TV adaptation. 

Running this Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th June, the book festival returns to Harmony Garden, Melrose, for the first time since 2019, with a programme of more than 100 events.

Jackie Stewart in his race suit.
Sir Jackie Stewart, OBE, is set to open the event with a telling of his life on and off the track. (C) JEP

Those attending include Joanna Lumley, comedian Miles Jupp, crime writer Val McDermid, former cabinet minister Ed Balls and the BBC’s Clive Myrie with a very special Melrose edition of Mastermind.

Ahead of Thursday’s opening, Festival Director, Alistair Moffat, said: “At last, it’s time to get going again.

“Harmony Garden is looking festival-ready, and it won’t be long before we can fling open the marquees and welcome back the audience we’ve missed so much.

“We do remain very mindful that we are holding the book festival in the aftermath of Covid, and there will be masks at venues for anybody who wants one and hand sanitisers on site.”

As part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, the book festival has a strand of events to spotlight the wealth of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland, and woven throughout the four days.

The Family Book Festival takes place in the McInroy & Wood Orchard throughout the Saturday and Sunday (18th and 19th June). 

The two-day programme focuses on events for youngsters, with a number of free activities such as rhyme sessions, interactive craft activities, comic workshops, and Lego club.  

The winner of this year’s prestigious £25k Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction is also set to be announced at an event at the book festival.

Alice Tarbuck, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said: “It’s wonderful to see the Borders Book Festival’s return to Melrose’s stunning Harmony Garden for the first time since 2019, in a hopeful celebration of the power of storytelling.

“This year’s impressive line-up of live events offers something for everyone, from the contrasting poetries of Janette Ayachi and William Letford to the song and storytelling of Karine Polwart and Kate Leiper in the children’s programme.

“It’s particularly heartening to see the return of the popular schools programme, taking literature to schools across the Borders.”

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