Melvyn Bragg is getting married, three weeks before his 80th birthday.

The Cumbrian author, broadcaster and Labour peer will marry his partner Gabriel Clare-Hunt at St Bega’s Church, Bassenthwaite, on Saturday September 14.

He will celebrate his 80th birthday on October 6.

Lord Bragg, who grew up in Wigton and has a home near the town, has been married twice before.

He married his first wife, French viscountess and painter Marie-Elisabeth Roche, in 1961. They had a daughter, Marie-Elsa Bragg.

He married his second wife, author Cate Haste, in 1973. They had two children, Alice and Tom. The couple separated in 2016 and were divorced last year.

“We’ve known each other for nearly 40 years,” says Lord Bragg of his bride-to-be.

“We started to work together in 1980 at London Weekend Television.

“I had more than 40 years with Cate. A lot of them were tremendous. We had some wonderful times. And the two children.

"It’s just one of those things. It started to run out of steam on both sides. Eventually we decided to separate and divorce.

“Gabriel has been divorced for more than 20 years. I’m so happy that we’re going to be married.”

The service will be conducted by Marie-Elsa Bragg, who is a priest.

The ceremony will include music specially written by a friend of Lord Bragg, the acclaimed composer Howard Goodall.

“He has composed some music, including music for a poem I wrote to Gabriel. He’s playing the organ for that. The words will be sung by a small choir.

“The church’s organist, Jean Gatty, will be playing the rest of the music.

“My daughter Alice will read a lesson and my son Tom will be an usher. The guests will include many of my oldest friends from Cumbria.”

Lord Bragg wrote about St Bega’s Church in his bestselling novel Credo.

“I took Gabriel to see it. She thought it was wonderful. To get to it you have to go across three open fields. If it rains you have to wear wellies.”

Is it important to him that the wedding takes place in Cumbria?

“Essential,” he says.

Lord Bragg has written and presented The South Bank Show since 1978. The programme celebrates both the popular and classical arts. Originally on ITV, since 2012 it has been broadcast on the Sky Arts channel.

Since 1998 Lord Bragg has also presented BBC Radio 4’s weekly discussion series In Our Time, in which he and expert guests discuss topics related to science and culture.

Lord Bragg is a bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction. Many of his novels are set in Cumbria.