WRITER and broadcaster Stuart Cosgrove is ready to make peace with the town that stole his girlfriend as he prepares for Irvine’s Tidelines Book Festival.

The BBC Radio Scotland Off the Ball cohost says he is looking forward to discussing his true passion – soul music – at the Harbour Arts Centre, which he has written two books on.

Speaking to the Irvine Times, Stuart said: “I’m really looking forward to Tidelines and visiting Irvine.

“I’m always keen to support local literary festivals especially in Scotland.

“I grew up in Perth and my first girlfriend Rhona moved to Irvine and we drifted apart. This was a time when Irvine was a new town and expanding.

“But I’m not 15 now and the pain has gone so it’s time to make peace with the place that stole my girlfriend.”

At the event Stuart will be giving readings from his two books Detroit 67 and Young Soul Rebels.

He said: “I came to writing through soul music fanzines. It was a buzz to see your words in print even although it was typed, photocopied and stapled.

“It was a route that took me to NME and from there to Channel 4.

“We all start somewhere and writing about your passions is a privilege.

“Motown and sixties northern soul is the music of my teenage era: it’s joyous and uptempo even today it makes me happy.

“So many artists have enriched my life.

“I have weeks where I obsess about someone - currently the tragic genius Donny Hathaway but the one that I always return to is the late great Marvin Gaye.

“If they banned music and left me with his album ‘What’s Going On’ I could survive.

“I hear something new every time and Ive listened to it a million times or more.

Stuart Cosgrove will be at the Harbour Arts Centre (HAC) on Friday, September 22. The show starts at 8pm with tickets costing £8.

For more information call 01294 274 059 or visit info@tidelinesbookfest.com for the full line up of this year’s events.