Media release: Big bookings for The Big Scottish Book Club


A THRILLING mix of established and emerging voices will be appearing in the new series, The Big Scottish Book Club.

A stunning line-up of authors, from Scotland and across the UK and from fiction and non-fiction, has been confirmed for the four-part series, which will go out this autumn on BBC Scotland.

The full line-up: Ian Rankin, Sara Collins, Graham Norton, Marian Keyes, David Nicholls, Patrick Gale, Denise Mina, Maggie O’Farrell, John Niven, Rhik Samader, Ambrose Parry (aka Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman) and Janice Galloway.

Award-winning writer, Damian Barr, who will host the series, said: “The Big Scottish Book Club is bringing books back to television and making it clear that stories are for everyone. The line-up for this series truly reflects the diverse story-telling talent at work in Scotland and across the UK and I can’t wait to share this thrilling mixture of established and emerging voices.

“Each show has a distinct theme – from memoir to crime – so we can have really rich conversations, delving into the writer’s own story as well their books.”

The series will also include readings of poetry and short stories from Richard Scott, Inua Ellams, Chris McQueer and Andrew McMillan—all in front of a live audience. Filmed in Perthshire and Helensburgh, the format of The Big Scottish Book Club is inspired by Damian Barr’s renowned Literary Salon, currently resident at London’s Savoy Hotel.

Ian Rankin has said: “I grew up watching book shows on TV. They were rare enough then and there are even fewer now, despite the vast number of book-lovers in the UK. So it’s a joy to see Scotland get its own books programme and a privilege to be a guest on the first of what I hope will be many seasons.”

Ambrose Parry (aka Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman) said: “The Scottish book world was positively thrumming with expectation at the announcement of Damian Barr’s new show, so we are as honoured as we are thrilled to be joining him on the debut edition.”

The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is also supporting The Big Scottish Book Club by helping to boost the public library stock of the books that will be covered in the series. SLIC will provide funding to local library services to help purchase books, if required. Viewers can request a copy of the book at their local library (subject to loan availability).

Pamela Tulloch, chief executive at the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), said: “Reading for pleasure is so important for people of all ages. It boosts literacy and learning, helps us relax, improves our mental health, expands our imagination and fuels creativity.

“I hope The Big Scottish Book Club encourages lots of people to pick up a book and get lost in a great story.  Reading is an accessible activity that can be enjoyed by everyone. Scotland’s public libraries are open to all and they are crammed with books of all types and genres, meaning there really is something for everyone.”

The Big Scottish Book Club has been commissioned by Gareth Hydes, commissioning editor for BBC Scotland, and produced by IWC, a Banijay Group company.

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