Four Mums in a Boat

With very little rowing experience, four working mums from Yorkshire decided to row 3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic in the world’s toughest rowing race! They did it, and broke a world record in the process. Two of the team, Helen Butters and Janette Benaddi, are coming to Melrose to tell us why they decided to take on this feat of incredible endurance, how they got ready for the race and what it was really like.  Would they do it again? We can’t wait to hear all about their amazing adventure.

Thursday 15 June, 5.30pm

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Tales of Don Roberto

Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham otherwise known as ‘Don Roberto’ was a Scottish aristocrat whose life story reads like novel. Heading for Argentina after finishing his education he became a gaucho and made his fortune in cattle ranching. He taught fencing in Mexico, became friends with Buffalo Bill in Texas, was held to ransom by a Moroccan Sheikh and even prospected for gold in Spain. Back in the UK he entered politics becoming a Liberal MP then a founder of the Scottish Labour Party, he also played an active part in establishing the National Party of Scotland. This truly fascinating man’s story will be told at the festival by his great, great nephew Jamie Jauncey.

Thursday 15 June, 9pm

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Richard Porter

Richard Porter was the script editor on the last iteration of Top Gear, from the disastrous pilot show of 2002 right up until the ignominious end in 2015, a run of 13 years and 175 programmes which he catalogued in his book And On That Bombshell. He’s now the script editor for The Grand Tour and he’ll be at the festival to talk about the old show, the new show, adventures in self-publishing, and what it’s really like to work with Jeremy Clarkson!

Sunday 18 June, 5pm

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