Campbell and Naughtie Lined up for East Lothian Book Festival

Former Downing Street spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, and Scots BBC Radio 4 journalist, James Naughtie, are to headline a small town Scottish book festival.

The Lennoxlove Book Festival has a strong media theme this year, with The Guardian’s Simon Hoggart – and journalist and former Newsnight presenter, Peter Snow – also descending on Haddington, the small East Lothian town, to speak at the festival next month.

Campbell documents the crucial years between 1994 and Labour’s landslide victory in 1997 in his diaries, A Prelude to Power. Also present with former PM, Gordon Brown, when Labour’s 13-year tenure came to an end in May, Campbell promises to provide an unique insight into the last decade in politics.

Naughtie, who began his career at the Press and Journal, in Aberdeen, before moving to The Scotsman, will be telling his audience about the days around the General Election and the formation of the Coalition Government. Naughtie interviewed many of the key individuals for the Today Programme andm six months on, and post party conferences, will share his analysis of how the promises that were made in May have played out in political reality. Organisers are already warning that tickets are selling fast for the talk.

The Guardian's parliamentary sketch writer, Hoggart will also be appearing to give a narrative of his 40 years in journalism, recounting tales and anecdotes from his latest book, A Long Lunch. The former chair of Radio 4’s News Quiz and a reporter in Northern Ireland will appear, perhaps coincidentally, in the Saturday lunchtime slot.

The festival follows a successful inaugural event last year, which featured Kate Aide and Rory Bremnar. The programme has already quadrupled in size.

Some of the big names in fiction – including Ian Rankin, Maggie O'Farrell, Sarah Dunant, William Fiennes and Quintin Jardine – will be also appearing, as will Fergal Keane, Bill Paterson, and Nicholas Parsons.

Lennoxlove Book Festival takes place at Lennoxlove House, Haddington, East Lothian, from Friday November 19 to Sunday 21. The full programme is available at

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