Ian Rankin and Richard Osman announced for crime-writing festival

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Pointless host Richard Osman has landed a seven-figure book deal for his debut novel (John Stillwell/PA)

Established writers such as Ian Rankin, Alexander McCall Smith and Lin Anderson will be joined by Pointless host Richard Osman at a crime-writing festival in Scotland later this year.

Bloody Scotland’s 2019 programme takes place in Stirling from September 20-22, with the winner of the McIlvanney Prize for the Scottish Crime Novel being announced at the gala opening.

Rankin, Smith, Anderson and Alex Gray will all be interviewed by the BBC’s Janice Forsyth at the festival, which has been praised for “going beyond the usual remit of a literary festival” by offering other, different events.

During the weekend there will be a torchlit procession, football, cabaret, a “Killer Ceilidh” and a play at the Sheriff Court allowing the audience to vote on the verdict of a real murder.

Rankin will also introduce a screening of classic crime films.

Organisers moved the programme around to include Osman, who recently signed a seven-figure sum for his first crime novel, The Thursday Murder Club, which is due to be published next year.

Ian Rankin
Ian Rankin will introduce a screening of classic crime films (Danny Lawson/PA)

Other debutants at the festival will be Caroline Kepnes, author of You, which was adapted as a Netflix series, and Catherine Steadman, who portrayed Mabel Lane Fox in Downton Abbey.

The programme was announced on Monday following a special one-off performance by Val McDermid, who will be in New Zealand when the festival takes place.

She said: “The secret of Bloody Scotland’s success is that everyone’s a winner. There are rewards for readers and writers alike.

“For the audience, there’s everything from panel discussions to the most incoherent football match in the country, from the spectacle of a torchlit procession through the streets of Stirling to convivial conversations that go on long into the night.

“And for writers, there are showcases for emerging authors, opportunities to perform before a generous and well-informed audience, and the thrill of the McIlvanney Prize.

“It’s a dizzying weekend of pleasure. Nobody leaves Bloody Scotland without their head birling like a peerie.”

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