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Top TV chefs, The Hairy Bikers open this weekend’s Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival in Melrose today (Thursday 14th June) followed by Charles Spencer talking to the Duke of Buccleuch about Charles II and Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith on life and food.

Other Book Festival highlights include Robert Peston’s McInroy & Wood Lecture on the state of the nation, Archie Macpherson recalling the glory years of Scottish football, Alexander McCall Smith celebrating 20 years of his bestselling No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency; King of Crime Ian Rankin talking all things Rebus and Richard Holloway musing on mortality in his Waiting for the Last Bus.

Also on stage over the four days: award winning military historian Antony Beevor; TV presenter and archaeologist Neil Oliver; politicians William Hague and Gordon Brown; naturalist and conservationist John Lister-Kaye; gardening expert Carol Klein journalists Stacey Dooley and Misha Glenny; leading palaeontologist Steve Brusatte; James Naughtie and Simon Jenkins on Brexit; Alan Taylor and Ian Rankin on Muriel Spark; Mark Millar, the man behind some of the biggest comic books and their film adaptations such as Kingsman and Wolverine; sporting heroes including ex-international rugby star Doddie Weir; marathon runner and Irongran Edwina Brocklesby and record-breaking cyclist and adventurer Mark Beaumont, as well as comedian and ventriloquist Nina Conti.

Photos: Alex Hewitt/Writer Pictures