Page last updated at 10:50 GMT, Thursday, 9 April 2009 11:50 UK

Literary stars to descend on town

Michael Palin
The writer, actor and comedian Michael Palin will speak at the event

Stars of the literary world are to descend on the town of Melrose in June for the Borders Book Festival.

Michael Palin, Christopher Brookmyre, James Kelman and Ian Rankin are just some of the names attending the annual event, on 18-21 June in Harmony Garden.

This year also sees the launch of the Family Book Festival, with events for adults and children to enjoy together.

A number of children's writers have been confirmed for the event, including Julia Donaldson.

Comedian and writer Rory Bremner, who has regularly featured at the festival is now patron of the event, which is held in the gardens of Melrose Abbey's ruins.

'Great setting'

He said: "I've been coming for two or three years now, it's a labour of love, and it's a pleasure being patron.

"It's a great setting, which attracts good names - people queue round the block to see Michael Palin in festivals all over the world."

The four-day festival also features famous names from the world of politics, broadcasting and the stage, including Vince Cable and Dame Joan Bakewell.

The children's programme will see writers Ian Rankin and David Aaranovitch reading their favourite books from childhood, as well as actor Bill Paterson bringing old nursery stories to life, and Julia Donaldson on the 10th birthday of her creation The Gruffalo.

Its director, Alistair Moffat, said: "The Borders Book Festival is really a big party, and what awaits partygoers is without doubt the strongest and most sparkling programme the festival has seen so far."



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