BORDERS Book Festival director Alistair Moffat believes the 2019 line-up is the strongest in the literary celebration's 15-year history.

More than 100 exciting and eclectic events will make up the four-day festival this June.

Amongst the headline names are wildlife presenters Kate Humble and Michaela Strachan, Grand National legend Bob Champion, much-loved writer Alan Titchmarsh, and stars of comedy Alexei Sayle and Susan Calman.

Tickets for Formula One's David Coulthard, snooker great Stephen Hendry and the man who inspired Scottish rugby's greatest ever comeback, Gregor Townsend, will also be in high-demand.

And, in this time of political unrest, it will likely be standing-room only to hear the views of Ruth Davidson, Dominic Grieve MP, Matt Chorley, Fintan O’Toole and James Naughtie, as well as the ever-popular satirist Rory Bremner.

Alistair told us: "After a long winter and much discontent, the clouds are parting and a brilliant sun will shine on Harmony Garden in June.

"The marquees will rise, the seats will be set out, the sound systems installed, the show will begin and the spells of enchantment will weave their magic.

"For four glorious, glowing days, the world will come to Melrose to celebrate at what Michael Palin, Prue Leith and Neil Oliver have hailed as the best book festival in Britain.

"In 2019 new faces will be everywhere, from lovely Alan Titchmarsh, Kate Humble, Michaela Strachan, David Coulthard and Fintan O’Toole.

"And in sessions with fascinating, unexpected storytellers, you will hear a pin drop.

"The epic tale of Lara Prior-Palmer’s victory in a thousand-kilometre Mongolian horse race will thrill and David Wilson’s amazing life as a former prison governor and criminologist will leave audiences wide-eyed.

"The wonderful Walter Scott Prize has laureated the best of historical fiction for ten years and we plan a mighty celebration.

"In fact, the whole festival, with the strongest programme ever, is just that – a party that rejoices in the best of Britain and is one of the best parties in Britain.”

As well as Bob Champion reliving his remarkable Grand National victory on Aldaniti, equine fans can savour more tales from Aintree with Richard Pitman, who jockeyed Crisp to the race's most memorable runners-up finish behind Red Rum.

And Lara Prior-Palmer will recall how she became the first woman, as well as the youngest ever rider, to win the epic Mongol Derby, which took seven days to complete.

Film-maker Gordon Buchanan relives his globe-trotting adventures in search of creatures great and small, and historian Neil Oliver will bring his customary enthusiasm to discuss The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places.

BBC special correspondent Allan Little puts the appeal of war under the spotlight, Greenpeace UK's Will McCallum will highlight the plastic problem that is devastating our oceans, and Ursula Buchan will go beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps to discuss the life story of her grandfather, John Buchan.

The McInroy and Wood lecture will this year be delivered by War Doctor David Nott, who for over 25 years has taken unpaid leave from the NHS to volunteer in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones.

Health and well-being are a prominent feature with events by Sue Armstrong on the science of how and why we age; Eve Simmons and Laura Dennison revealing the myths behind healthy eating; Kim Jones with practical advice on achieving a good night’s sleep and Michelle Thomas’s honest account of living with mental ill health.

The ever-popular Family Book Festival features just as strong a line-up with How to Train Your Dragon author Cressida Cowell; Vivian French and artist Catherine Rayner; bestselling Beetle Boy author MG Leonard, Doctor Who writer David Solomons and cooks Mary Contini and Pru Irvine will also entertain.

And we're only scratching at the surface.

Acclaimed authors such as Elizabeth Macneal, Chris Mullin, Chris Brookmyre, Damian Barr and Sonia Purnell will bring their latest works to Melrose.

There will be live music, the Orchard tented food village and plenty of free, fun activities making the book festival a great day out for all the family to enjoy.

The festival welcomes the continued support of Title Sponsor Baillie Gifford and Key Sponsor McInroy & Wood, as well as Douglas Home & Co, The National Trust for Scotland and the on-going funding of Scottish Borders Council, Creative Scotland and many other loyal supporters.

Michelle McLeod, sponsorship manager at Baillie Gifford said: “We are delighted to support the festival and see how our continued sponsorship has contributed to festival’s growth and develop. We look forward to seeing many of the exciting and varied authors who will take part over the weekend in June, and to being amongst the thousands of festivals goers who will embark on Melrose to enjoy everything the festival has to offer."

The 2019 Borders Book Festival runs from Thursday, June 13 to Sunday, June 16 at Harmony Garden in Melrose.

Tim Wood, chief executive of sponsors McInroy & Wood added: “McInroy & Wood is delighted once again to be the key sponsor of the Borders Book Festival, continuing our longstanding support of the arts in Scotland and across the UK.

"In the rush of modern life, the opportunity to sit back, absorb and reflect upon a wide range of topics in such beautiful surroundings is a tonic for the soul.

"We are proud to be able to provide our backing to this valuable event in our local community and look forward to sharing our enjoyment with you.”

Tickets for this year’s Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival are available from Hub Tickets, at or at 0131 473 2000.