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North writer and Ian Rankin among the guests on The Big Scottish Book Club

By Margaret Chrystall

Inverness-born and Beauly writer Cal Flyn will be one of the guests on the latest series of The Big Scottish Book Club hosted by author Damian Barr, which announced its line-up for the coming season today.

An array of authors from the worlds of politics, acting, rock music as well as literary lions are booked for the new series, which is due to start later this month.

Presenter Damian Barr.
Presenter Damian Barr.

Among the people confirmed are former Home Secretary Alan Johnson, actor Miriam Margolyes, and Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie discussing their forays into the book world.

Alongside these names will also be some of Scotland’s most internationally read and celebrated authors, and up and coming writers, including Louise Welsh, Jenni Fagan, Alan Warner, Denise Mina, James Robertson, Bernard MacLaverty, Ian Rankin, Darren McGarvey, Jackie Kay and Val McDermid.

Also lined up are internationally lauded authors Kit de Waal, Mohsin Zaidi, Sarah Perry, and commentators for our times Kirsty Capes, Pete Paphides, Bryony Gordon and Séamas O'Reilly.

Further names for the new eight-part series, produced by IWC (a Banijay UK Company), will be announced in due course nearer the transmission on the BBC Scotland channel, available to watch across the UK on BBC iPlayer.

Host and author in his own right, Damian Barr said: “I'm delighted that the book club is returning for a third series to BBC Scotland and iPlayer. Once again we're celebrating a joyful mix of well-known and new writers from across Scotland and around the world. I can't wait to sit down and talk with them and to meet the audiences at Troon and my home town of Motherwell."

Cal Flyn. Picture: Nancy MacDonald
Cal Flyn. Picture: Nancy MacDonald

The eight episodes are being recorded in the middle of October in Motherwell and Troon Concert Halls.

In keeping with the established format of the series, Damian will discuss a different literary theme each week with three guest authors, with a special reading from an invited poet.

The featured poets and spoken word performers include Len Pennie, Mara Menzies, Mae Diansangu, Jeda Pearl, Nasim Rebecca Asl, John Gerard Fagan, Bee Asha Singh and Michael Pederson.

There will also be a focus each week on local book clubs from across the country.

Gareth Hydes, commissioning editor at BBC Scotland, said: “The Big Scottish Book Club is a great stalwart of our BBC Scotland winter schedule. And I, like the viewers, am looking forward to being in the very good company of host Damian Barr and this year’s authors. It is another great line-up.

“There is always a lot to enjoy and reflect upon from the chats and of course great inspiration for books to read this winter.”

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