BIG names in literature, politics and comedy are set to descend on the region this summer.

Today (Wednesday) the Borders Book Festival has revealed its full programme as tickets go on sale for the annual extravaganza.

A highlight on the literary calendar, the event will feature voices from fiction, politics, health and wellbeing, comedy, and children’s literature.

Alistair Moffat, the festival director, said: “It’s time to start making plans for those long, light, balmy days at the height of the Scottish summer, and what better event to pop in the diary than our annual celebration in our very own Borders slice of heaven, Melrose’s Harmony Garden.

Border Telegraph: Clive MyrieClive Myrie (Image: Sophia Spring)

“This year sees our programme again offer something for every taste: whether that’s literary fiction, comedy, sport, politics, health, current affairs, history or travel – all of life is here.

“And we sincerely hope that you will all be here, too, as we revel in the joy of gathering in high summer to talk about the things we love with the people we love, before whiling away a gentle afternoon or evening surrounded by (and partaking in) delicious food and drink, enjoying the gorgeous scenery, and absorbing the chitter-chatter of friends and other festival goers alike. All the good things in life.

“So do come and join us for the biggest party in the Borders.”

In recognition of the 2024 Olympics in Paris this summer, the festival will hold a special event honouring the 100th anniversary of Scottish athlete Eric Liddell’s historic 400m win at the 1924 Olympics in France.

It is a story which was immortalised in the 1981 classic Chariots of Fire where Liddell was portrayed by fellow Scot Ian Charleson.

Borders actor Jack Lowden later took on the role on stage in the West End.

The Adam and Company event, unique to the Borders Book Festival, will be led by Liddell’s biographer Sally Magnusson, who will be joined by Scottish athlete Allan Wells, Olympic and Commonwealth medalist Eilidh Doyle, and Liddell’s niece Sue Caton.

Border Telegraph: Janey GodleyJaney Godley (Image: Borders Book Festival)

Other highlights in the four-day programme – running from Thursday, June 13 to Sunday, June 16 – will include celebrated comedian Janey Godley and Jo Caulfield, who will discuss their memoirs; and Labour shadow cabinet member Wes Streeting.

Meanwhile, broadcaster Robert Peston and former MP Alan Johnson will share their new novels; and former presenter Louise Minchin will share female stories of courage and adventure.

Also appearing at the festival will be BBC stalwarts Clive Myrie and Rory Cellan-Jones; One Day author David Nicholls; Kate Humble; Benedict Allen; The Great British Sewing Bee’s Patrick Grant; and comedians Rory Bremner and Fred MacAulay.

For crime writing fans, festival favourite Val McDermid will be joined by fellow authors Chris Brookmyre and Mark Billingham for a bookish chat and a performance from their band The Fun Lovin Crime Writers.

History buffs can enjoy talks from Philippa Langley on the Princes in the Tower; Robert Hardman on King Charles III; and James Holland and Steven Veerapen on the reign of King James IV.

Looking to the present day, Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson will present his new novel What Will Survive Us; Charlie Higson will share his latest James Bond novel; and James Naughtie will return to the Borders Book Festival with his take on the state of the nation in an election year.

The festival will also see the announcement of the winner of the prestigious Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.

Border Telegraph: Louise MinchinLouise Minchin (Image: Rachel Joseph)

The Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme takes place throughout the day on the Saturday and Sunday.

And it will be packed with exciting author events, including: beloved author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo OBE; Abi Elphinstone; festival favourites Vivian French and Alan Windram; Josh Silver and Sally Nicholls; Craig Graham and Mike Stirling – both former Beano editors – with a very special Beano event; and debut author Fiona Carswell with her joyful story of friendship and acceptance, The Boy Who Loves to Lick the Wind, illustrated by acclaimed artist Yu Rong.

As well as literary events and talks, the Borders Book Festival will also host live music, the Orchard tented food village, and a range of free activities for all the family to enjoy on a day out in Melrose.

In a bid to reduce its carbon footprint, organisers have committed to a number of net zero goals, including: zero waste to landfill, e-ticketing, and a tree-planting donation for every ticket purchased.

To view the programme and to purchase tickets for any events between June 13-16, visit: or by calling 0131 290 2112.