Edinburgh International Book Festival reveals heavyweight line-up

THE Edinburgh International Book Festival has launched this year’s programme, with Ian McEwan, Pat Barker, Zadie Smith, John McCarthy, James Kelman and Will Self among the major draws.

John Gordon Sinclair, David Walliams, Mackenzie Crook, Russell Kane, Nile Rodgers and Simon Callow are also expected to be hot tickets at the two-week event.

The political strand of the festival is particularly strong this year with Alex Salmond, Gordon Brown, Menzies Campbell, Alistair Darling, Roy Hattersley, Henry McLeish and Paddy Ashdown expected at Charlotte Square.

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Broadcasting and journalism are well-represented with Joan Bakewell, Jeremy Paxman, James Naughtie, Tom Watson, James Boyle and Jeremy Vine among the guests.

The festival will look at the debates over Scottish independence and the legacy of the Lockerbie disaster.

Other guests including chef Tom Kitchin, disco legend Nile Rodgers, Blur star Alex James, horror expert Kim Newman and Monty Python favourite Michael Palin.

Festival director Nick Barley said: “We are delighted to showcase some of the best Scottish writing, from well-established authors to debut novelists, as well as welcoming some extraordinary literary talent from around the world to help us rethink aspects of society that affect our everyday lives.”

Tickets for the festival, which runs from 11-27 August, go on sale on 29 June.