ITV News’ political editor Robert Peston couldn’t say no to his invitation from this year’s Borders Book Festival.

He had such a nice time when he was last here in the region.

Three years ago he gave the McInroy & Wood Lecture at Harmony Hall in Melrose and on that occasion he stayed at Abbotsford House.

This year he returns to the home of Sir Walter Scott to talk about his new book ‘The Whistleblower’ which is a fictional tale set around 1997's general election.

Then in a separate interview, he will give his thoughts on the COP26 conference.

“This will be the second time I have appeared at the Borders Book Festival,” he told us.

“I had such a nice time at the last one in 2018, how could I say no? I understand that it will be held at Abbotsford House this year and that’s actually where I stayed last time.

"It was such a beautiful house. I also briefly visited Bowhill House, the home of the Duke of Buccleuch and that was another extra special place.

"I love Scotland, it’s such a beautiful country and I have visited regularly over the years.

“On the Saturday (November 6) I’ll be talking about ‘Whistleblower’ which is set in 1997 at a time when 18 years of Conservative governments were coming to an end and 13 years of Labour governments were just starting.

"It was a time of hope for many people, and I wanted to recapture the mood of the time.

“I’d always fancied having a go at fiction writing and this summer, like many people, I thought I’d make the best of the semi-imprisonment imposed by the pandemic and write a book.

"I really enjoyed the process, although it was pretty scary waiting to see the reaction from readers and critics. But it’s been mainly positive. I am particularly pleased with the comments from readers on Amazon.

"I think that Gil Peck, the anti-hero, will feature in another couple of books.”

Gil just happens to be a political journalist so naturally many readers believe that Peston has based the character on himself.

“The obsession with landing a story and the driven nature of the way that Gill works is like me but some of his other characteristics are not," he said, "but the whole book is based on personal experiences and observations."

The following day, also in the Sir Walter Scott Marquee, Peston will give audiences his exclusive summary and a forensic examination of the COP26 Climate Change Conference which he will have attended the previous week.

He will follow Gordon Brown’s ‘Seven ways to Change the World’ speech where the former Prime Minister casts an analytical eye on how COVID-19 has affected us all.

“That’s the story of my life, following Gordon Brown,” Peston joked. “Listen, climate change is our biggest challenge and I really hope that COP26 will be more than a photo shoot, but it’s too early to say what it will achieve.

“But I think we are quite a long way from leaders making the commitments to reshape their economies to be confident so I’m a bit gloomy about where we are. There is still a lot of work to be done, particularly by China, India, the USA and the UK and if that doesn’t happen, it doesn’t bear thinking about.”

In addition to Gordon Brown, other political figures appearing at the festival include former Labour Leader Ed Miliband; former shadow chancellor Ed Balls; Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat; SNP MSP Angus Robertson; and Theresa May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell.