Borders Book Festival programme launched

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Rory Bremner
Image caption,
Comedian Rory Bremner is patron of the annual Borders Book Festival

Veteran broadcaster Michael Parkinson and Sarah Brown, wife of the ex-prime minister Gordon, will appear at this year's Borders Book Festival.

They will join stars of literature, stage and screen taking part in the Melrose event from 16 to 19 June.

Other big names include actors Larry Lamb and Maureen Lipman and singer Barbara Dickson.

Festival director Alistair Moffat said it was the best programme yet, with "diversity, verve and sheer quality".

He added: "Book festivals are bucking the trend of the economic downturn proving, no matter what, there will always be a place in our lives for good literature and live debate."

The programme for the Brewin Dolphin Borders Book Festival was launched by comedian Rory Bremner, who is patron of the event.

It will take place in Harmony House Gardens, Melrose.

Research estimated that last year's event brought more than £2.7m into the area.

The winner of the second Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction, sponsored by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, will be announced at the festival.

Last year it was awarded to author Hilary Mantel for her novel Wolf Hall.

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