Joanna Lumley, Val McDermid and Andrew Marr will take part in the revival of the Borders Book Festival

The Borders Book Festival will return to Harmony Garden in Melrose in June.

Impressionists Rory Bremner, Ronni Ancona and Lewis MacLeod, as well as comedian and actor Julian Clary have also been confirmed.

Organizers said more than 100 events are expected to be staged over four days at Harmony Gardens in Melrose in June.

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A special part of the program will be organized to mark the first official ‘Scottish Stories Year’.

Joanna Lumley will appear at the Borders Book Festival in June. Photo: Matt Crossick

The festival, which first took place in 2004 and attracted over 34,000 literature lovers during the last edition of the event at Harmony Garden in 2019, was completely canceled due to the Covid pandemic in 2020.

Last year it was postponed from June to November and moved to Abbotsford, the historic former home of Sir Walter Scott for an event that featured appearances from Hilary Mantel, Michael Palin, Robert Peston, Alexander McCall Smith, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Christopher Brookmyre, Denise Mina and Gordon Brown.

This year’s event will see the announcement of the winner of the annual £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.

First awarded in 2010 and sponsored by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, the prize will be contested by 13 shortlisted authors, including Douglas Bruton, Sebastastian Faulks, Andrew Greig, Stacey Halls, Neil Jordan, Ciarán McMenamin, Nadifa Mohamed, James Robertson, Sunjeev Sahota, Amanda Smyth, JR Thorp, Colm Tóibín and Sarah Winman.

The Borders Book Festival will be among the events featuring special programs for the Scottish Year of Stories in 2022.

An official announcement regarding this year’s festival return said its full schedule would be announced, along with how to get tickets on April 19.

Festival director Alistair Moffat said: “The Covid-19 pandemic, and all it has meant for live events, has proven to all of us what a privilege it is to be able to come together and unite in a common passion for the arts, discussion and debate.

“Our 2021 festival at the home of Walter Scott was a beautifully poignant reintroduction to in-person events after twenty very long months, and almost 11,000 people came to Abbotsford during the six days the festival was in progress.

“But now our Harmony Garden home in Melrose invites us back for a June extravaganza of big names, big ideas and big ambitions.

Val McDermid will be among the authors invited to participate in this year’s Borders Book Festival.

“Abbotsford made a fabulous venue last November, and was particularly fitting for Scott’s 250th birthday year, but our hearts rest in Harmony Garden, and return there over two years since the pandemic halted the life because we knew it was a poignant cause for reflection and celebration.

“This year, while all relevant Covid-19 measures will still be in place to ensure the safety and peace of mind of festival-goers, we hope to be able to return to the relative bliss of before the pandemic – spending long, light days in a beautiful surroundings, surrounded by inspiring debates and exchanges of ideas to feed the mind and soul; and enjoy, once again, the village delights of food and drink to fuel (equally important!) the body.