Page last updated at 10:20 GMT, Wednesday, 7 April 2010 11:20 UK

Seventh book festival promises 'glittering' programme

Robert Harris
Novelist Robert Harris is among the famous names taking part

Acclaimed novelists, comedians and broadcasters will be starring at the seventh Borders Book Festival, it has been announced.

Hilary Mantel, Robert Harris and William Fiennes are among the writers appearing in Melrose.

The event, from the 17 to 20 June, will also see the winners of two major literary prizes announced.

Festival director Alistair Moffat said: "This is possibly our most glittering programme to date."

Taking to the stage to discuss their experiences of political life will be MP Chris Mullin, politician and novelist Douglas Hurd and satirist Rory Bremner.

Comedians Victoria Wood, Kathy Lette and the QI team John Lloyd and John Mitchinson will be making appearances.

The programme also features broadcasters John Simpson, Fergal Keane and James Naughtie.

Cultural 'spotlight'

Children's authors Michael Morpurgo and Vivian French are among those who have been confirmed for the family-orientated section of the book event.

The winner of the first £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction, sponsored by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, will be announced as part of the festival at Scott's home Abbotsford House.

An awards ceremony will also be held to reveal the winner of Scotland's biggest literary prize, which is worth £30,000.

Mr Moffat said: "This year, the festival finds itself at the very heart of national literary life because two out of the six major literary awards in Britain will be announced here."

Paul Bush, chief operating officer at EventScotland, which is funding the festival, said it would provide a "heady mix" of entertainment, debate and discussion.

He added: "The Borders Book Festival continues to grow year on year and, with the introduction of the inaugural Walter Scott Prize this year, it will without doubt retain its position in the cultural events spotlight for many more to come."

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