Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh International Book Festival line up revealed

Alan Cumming, Mark Thompson, Chris Boardman, Tim Burgess, Carol Ann Duffy, Gordon Brown Image copyright PA/Getty/BBC
Image caption Actor Alan Cumming, former BBC director general Mark Thomson; cyclist Chris Boardman, ex-PM Gordon Brown, Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and The Charlatans' Tim Burgess will appear at the festival

Hollywood actor Alan Cumming and former prime minister Gordon Brown are among the big names taking part in the 2016 Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Survival expert Ray Mears, former BBC director general Mark Thompson and The Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess are also in the diverse line-up.

Organisers claim the theme of the August festival could be summed up as "Project No Fear".

They said it would explore the power of the mind to imagine a better world.

More than 800 writers, poets, illustrators, politicians, journalists, historians, scientists, philosophers and playwrights from 55 countries are to take part in the 17-day event at Charlotte Square Gardens.

Director Nick Barley described it as a festival "bursting at the seams with big ideas".

Image copyright PA
Image caption Scotland's new makar, Jackie Kay, will be interviewed by First Minster Nicola Sturgeon at the book festival

The Good Wife actor Cumming, Mears and comedian Stewart Lee are set to offer sneak previews of their new books at the festival.

American author Jonathan Safran Foer will travel to Edinburgh to launch his first novel in more than a decade - Here I Am.

In the non-fiction category, the festival will feature appearances by musicians Wilko Johnson and Brix Smith Start, as well as cyclists Chris Boardman and David Millar.

Politics and current affairs continue to play a key part in the programme.

Mr Thompson will put forward his argument on why the internet and 24-hour news has failed to lead to better democracy.

Image copyright Esme.Haigh

Gordon Brown is set to address globalisation while newly-appointed makar (Scotland's national poet) Jackie Kay is to be interviewed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Poetry further makes an impression on the programme with appearances from the likes of UK poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Billy Bragg and Luke Wright.

Mr Barley said: "You could say that the theme of this year's festival is 'Project No Fear'.

"It's about encouraging and celebrating the sort of courageous, positive, creative thinking that we desperately need in order to make the world a better place for everyone, rather than just for a privileged few."

Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "This year's programme is sure to capture and excite audiences whilst raising Scotland's cultural profile on the international stage."

The EIBF, which receives funding from Creative Scotland and City of Edinburgh Council, will run from 13 August to 29 August.

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