IWC delivers new specials for The Big Scottish Book Club

23 August, 2023

The Big Scottish Book Club is back with a series of specials, kicking off with an Edinburgh International Book Festival special

Hosted by author Damian Barr, The Big Scottish Book Club will have specials going out across summer, autumn and into the festive period of 2023.

And it’s kicking off with an Edinburgh International Book Festival special as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

This will broadcast on the BBC Scotland channel and BBC iPlayer on 23 August at 10pm.

Further specials in the autumn will focus on Crime and History, with a Christmas special due to go out in December.

Says Damian: “The Edinburgh International Book Festival is a jewel in Scotland’s cultural crown. In its 40th year we’re celebrating readers and writers and joining the conversation with three incredibly exciting guests! I’m delighted to give folk a taste of what’s on offer.

“Each special is themed and we get right into all the issues in the books featured – expect plenty of good-natured disagreement! We talk young adult, romance, fantasy, crime, historical fiction and memoir. And there’s poetry too. We will fill your shelves and get your library ticket working hard. We’re also joined by actors from some of the biggest film and tv adaptations as well as podcasts. The show really does have a story for everyone.”

The first special features some of the biggest names at the Festival this year including American author and double Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead; Booker prize winner Eleanor Catton and Judy Murray who has put down her tennis racket and picked up a pen for her first foray into fiction writing.

Guests joining Damian in his Book Club studio for the Crime special include author of the Shetland books Ann Cleeves, Irvine Welsh – whose Crime novels have been adapted for TV – and Lauren Lyle, the acclaimed lead in the TV adaptation of Val McDermid’s Karen Pirie.

The History special will look at how fiction reinterprets history with authors Maggie O’Farrell and Leila Aboulela and actor Rochelle Neil talks about her role in the new Windrush drama Three Little Birds and gives us her book recommendations.

Damian will round off the year, with a festive special for Christmas in the company of authors Jenny Colgan and MG Leonard and actor Graham McTavish will talk about his roles in film and TV adaptations of The Hobbit and Outlander as well as give his own book recommendations.

As well as the discussions, each special will feature readers from across the country giving their reviews of chosen books, with further inserts in the Edinburgh special from around the book festival.

The Big Scottish Book Club is produced by IWC (a Banijay UK company) for BBC Scotland.