Peter Snow, Kirsty Wark and James Naughtie were amongst high profile faces creating a magical atmosphere at this year’s Borders Book Festival. Also lighting up the picturesque Scottish town of Melrose were comedians and commentators Rory Bremner, Michael Parkinson, Rory McGrath, Maureen Lipman and Tom Conti.
The 2011 Festival was a smash-hit with 12,000 visitors coming through the gates of Harmony Garden to participate in some sparkling sessions. With sell-out talks, and a record 1,500 schoolchildren in attendance, the weekend was a sequence of fun, good and serious talk, and some live music from Barbara Dickson.
Interviews and introductions by top names in the literary world added gravitas to an event already lauded as one of the UK’s best book festivals.
After a distinguished career in print journalism with The Scotsman and The Guardian, Jim Naughtie joined the BBC in 1988 as a presenter of Today. At the festival Jim looked back on the momentous, the tragic and the hilarious, reliving the joys and the frustrations of a life on the road and behind the microphone. His was a personal and political story.
Peter Snow, veteran of swingometers, virtual Houses of Commons and the hurly burly of election nights, told of one man’s spectacular achievement against great odds. In his new book To War with Wellington, he tells of one of British history’s greatest military careers.
Kirsty Wark believes that book festivals are about readers as well as writers, and spoke to readers about books that changed her life, and why books will keep changing her perceptions and views.