Iain MacGregor and Helena Merriman

Cold War Stories

Wigtown Parish Church
In person & Online event
Fri 1 Oct
16:00 UK
Free, ticketed

This is a live audience event. Participants will be on stage in the venue. The event will also be simultaneously streamed on our website. Online access is free but please pay what you can. Booking for online events is optional, but by reserving an online ticket you will receive a reminder beforehand.

The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of an era, an earthquake that has shaped the geopolitical landscape ever since. This event brings together two outstanding accounts of the mistrust, oppression and paranoia that gripped Berlin in the Cold War. For Checkpoint Charlie, Iain McGregor sought out the stories of those caught up in the conflict, from border guards and spies to anti-communists and intellectuals. Following on from her celebrated podcast Tunnel 29, the BBC’s Helena Merriman has drawn from a wealth of Stasi documents and in-depth interviews to tell the incredible true story of a secret get-away tunnel dug under the Berlin Wall in 1962.

About the authors: Helena Merriman is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. She wrote, produced and presented Tunnel 29, one of the BBC’s most successful podcasts with over 5m downloads, listed by The New Yorker as one of their top five podcasts of 2019. Tunnel 29 won the Foreign Press Association’s Podcast of the Year, Rose D’Or Best Audio Entertainment and two Golds at the British Podcast Awards. Helena has worked as a BBC journalist all over the world, including Libya, Egypt, Gaza, Jerusalem, Sierra Leone and Washington DC. She lives with her husband and two children in London.

Iain MacGregor is an editor and publisher of nonfiction in the UK. His father served with the British Army on the Rhine in the 1950s and enjoyed R&R in West Berlin. As a student he visited the Baltic and the Soviet Union, avidly followed events that unfolded in Berlin on the night of 9th November 1989 when the Wall fell and then travelled through into the former Warsaw Pact territories and Berlin, visiting Checkpoint Charlie, still untouched. He lives with his wife and two children in London.


Tunnel 29 is available from the Wigtown Book Festival online bookshop HERE


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