TV personalities make their way to the Book Festival

A set of small screen heroes gather up to chew some telly fat

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TV personalities make their way to the Book Festival

Stephen Poliakoff is one of the TV personalities appearing at the Book Festival

Stephen Poliakoff In an age when the ‘TV Dramatist’ no longer has the kudos of, say, a regional weather girl or the host of a reality TV late-night spin-off show, Poliakoff is still the man that the BBC will call on when they want an elegant piece of authored drama. Down the years he’s give us Shooting the Past, Gideon’s Daughter (pictured) and The Lost Prince, while he recently returned to the film fold with Glorious 39, the tale of a family and a nation at war. 23 Aug, 8.30pm, £10 (£8).

Nicholas Parsons It is to his eternal credit that Parsons is still going pretty strong at his not so tender age. He seemed like a telly veteran back in the 70s when he was coming ‘live from Norwich’ to present the iconic ITV quiz show, Sale of the Century. Since then he’s become a radio star by hosting Just a Minute and is now into a full decade of his Happy Hour chat show on the Fringe. 19 Aug, 8pm, £10 (£8).

Elaine C Smith She might be best known for her role as Rab C’s world-weary wife, Mary Doll, but Smith has had a varied and colourful career as a respected Scottish actress and campaigner. In her memoir, Nothing Like a Dame, she recounts her long struggle to make it in a male-dominated, working-class country at a time when women were supposed to just shut up and stay thin, especially in the blokey worlds of theatre and television. 24 Aug, 1.30pm, £10 (£8).

Niall Ferguson The Glasgow-born historian has emerged from behind books such as Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire and The Pity of War to front an intoxicating Channel 4 documentary series, The Ascent of Money, a detailed account of ‘moolah’ from the Incas to the credit crunch. 25 Aug, 6.30pm, £10 (£8).

John Simpson
One of the country’s best loved world affairs reporters, Simpson is of the belief that the ‘news’ does not necessarily equate with the ‘truth’, it merely reports certain aspects of an event. Here, he will chat about the way in which news stories can be manipulated by the press. 26 Aug, 8pm, £10 (£8).

Elaine C Smith

Whether known as a Scottish panto legend, Rab C Nesbitt’s world-weary wife or upfront member of the Calendar Girls tour, Elaine C Smith is one of the most recognised and respected women in this country’s theatre and comedy circles. Her memoir’s title, Nothing Like a Dame, hints at her Christmas stage work and her…

Niall Ferguson

Siegmund Warburg was a German émigré banker who became a dominant figure in the post-war City of London. In his new book, Niall Ferguson, the eminent Glasgow-born historian and Professor of History at Harvard, explores the motivations driving Warburg: what turned this complex and ambivalent man into a leading figure in…

Nicholas Parsons

Best-known for Sale of the Century and his radio show Just a Minute, Nicholas Parsons has been a stalwart of British entertainment since the 1960s. Still going strong in his mid-eighties, Parsons has now overtaken Humphrey Lyttelton as the oldest game show host ever – and then there’s his long-running annual Fringe show.

Stephen Poliakoff

The man behind such grand TV epics as Shooting the Past and Capturing Mary recently returned to the world of films with Glorious 39. As Europe teeters on the verge of war, the feisty Anne Keyes attempts to foil a pro-appeasement plot. Stephen Poliakoff drops in to a city and festival he loves to talk about the published…

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