Melvyn Bragg is celebrating after getting married on a beautiful Lake District day.

Lord Bragg of Wigton married his partner Gabriel Clare-Hunt at St Bega’s Church, Bassenthwaite, last Saturday.

The service was conducted by Lord Bragg’s daughter Marie-Elsa Bragg, who is a priest.

Lord Bragg, 79, told The Cumberland News: “It was a very lovely day. It couldn’t have been better. Lots of my Cumbrian friends were there. I’ve known some of them since childhood. Gabriel’s friends and family were there from London.

“We were quite lucky with the weather. We managed to get across the fields to the church without wellies.”

Guests included Cumbrian mountaineer Chris Bonington. The ceremony featured the premiere of music specially written by a friend of Lord Bragg, the acclaimed composer Howard Goodall.

Lord Bragg’s daughter Alice read a lesson and his son Tom was an usher. Lord Bragg said: “It would have been very easy for Gabriel and I to have gone on together as partners.

“But I think marriage is an important institution for those who believe in it.

“For my generation, marriage is part of our lives really. There’s something traditional about it which I like very much. We just wanted to make it quite clear that Gabriel and I are in it for the long haul.

“It’s the first time I’ve been married in a church. The other two were registry offices.”

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

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

Lord Bragg grew up in Wigton and has a home near the town. He has written and presented TV arts programme The South Bank Show since 1978. Since 1998 he has also presented BBC Radio 4’s weekly discussion series In Our Time.

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