Arts & Culture

Oxbridge: Why Two Universities Dominate Britain
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
276

Oxbridge: Why Two Universities Dominate Britain

University
Life in the UK
Education
British class system
Great Britain
Jul 1, 2022
-
23
minutes

Despite only educating 1% of the population Oxford and Cambridge University have a tight grip over everything from UK politics to business.

In this episode, we look at what life at Oxbridge is like, why graduates often go on to such powerful positions, and see what these two universities have been doing to improve access to disadvantaged children.

The Rise of The Great Fashion Houses
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
274

The Rise of The Great Fashion Houses

Fashion
Clothes
20th Century
France
Italy
Jun 24, 2022
-
21
minutes

The 20th century saw the creation of world-famous luxury fashion houses.

In this episode, we'll explore the stories of Chanel, Dior, Gucci and Versace, and look at how they changed what we wear.

Curiosities of Fashion
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
273

Curiosities of Fashion

Fashion
Clothes
Art
The Middle Ages
Revolution
Jun 21, 2022
-
24
minutes

Throughout history, people have worn what we now consider to be strange and unusual clothes.

In this episode, we'll explore some unusual fashions through history, and look at how historical and political events have changed what we wear.

The Inimitable Charles Dickens
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
270

The Inimitable Charles Dickens

The Victorian Era
Income inequality
Poverty
Literature
English books
Jun 10, 2022
-
19
minutes

He was the Victorian era's most famous social writer, and his novels were loved by everyone from Queen Victoria to street children.

In this episode we'll learn about Charles Dickens shone a light on the injustices of 19th century Britain and invented the modern idea of Christmas.

Jane Austen - The Queen of English Literature
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
269

Jane Austen - The Queen of English Literature

19th Century
The Victorian Era
English books
Literature
Great Britain
Jun 7, 2022
-
22
minutes

She has been called the queen of English literature, and invented her own unique literary style.

In this episode, we'll learn about the amazing life of the writer of classics such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.

The Magical Legacy of Harry Potter
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
263

The Magical Legacy of Harry Potter

English books
Children
Art
20th Century
Film & Cinema
May 17, 2022
-
18
minutes

Since the first book was published in 1997, the Harry Potter series has had an enormous impact on everything from British soft power to teen culture.

In this episode, we look at the magical legacy that it has left, and how fans are relating to the books, 25 years later.

JK Rowling & The Battle To Publish Harry Potter
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
262

JK Rowling & The Battle To Publish Harry Potter

Literature
Children
Poverty
21st Century
Film & Cinema
May 13, 2022
-
17
minutes

On 26 June 1997, an unknown author published a book called Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Harry Potter would go on to become the best-selling series in literary history, selling over 500 million copies worldwide.

The journey to get there, however, was far from simple.

Visions of Utopia
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
249

Visions of Utopia

Philosophy
Literature
Politics
Religion
The Enlightenment
Mar 29, 2022
-
20
minutes

The idea of the perfect society is something that philosophers and political thinkers have written about for thousands of years.

In this episode, we look at different versions of this "perfect society" throughout history, and what happened when humans tried to create utopias on Earth.

The Scandalous Life of Lord Byron
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
244

The Scandalous Life of Lord Byron

19th Century
Poetry
Romanticism
Greece
Great Britain
Mar 11, 2022
-
27
minutes

He was the Romantic poet famously described as "mad, bad, and dangerous to know".

In this episode, we'll learn about his scandalous life, how he shocked the nation so badly he had to leave, and how England's first "rock star poet" became a national hero in Greece.

The Tragic Life Of Brian Epstein - The Man Who Discovered The Beatles
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
239

The Tragic Life Of Brian Epstein - The Man Who Discovered The Beatles

Music
1960s
20th Century
Liverpool
Drugs
Feb 22, 2022
-
19
minutes

He was called "The Fifth Beatle", and was credited by many for turning four boys from Liverpool into a global sensation.

Yet behind the scenes, his life was filled with internal conflict and resulted in his death at only 32 years old.

The Amazing Names of British Pubs
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
237

The Amazing Names of British Pubs

Alcohol
Food & drink
Great Britain
Life in the UK
Weird history
Feb 15, 2022
-
23
minutes

There are 50,000 pubs in the UK, and their names reveal a lot more than some people think.

In this episode, we explore the history of pub names, what these names can tell us, and tell the origin stories of 8 fascinating pub names, including The Eagle & Child to The Bucket of Blood.

The Crazy Life of Elvis Presley
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
228

The Crazy Life of Elvis Presley

1950s
1960s
Music
USA
Food & drink
Jan 14, 2022
-
32
minutes

He was told by countless people that he would never make it as a star, yet by his mid-20s he was the most successful musician in the world.

In this episode, we'll learn about how Elvis Presley defied all his critics, became the biggest star of the 1960s, created the category of rock and roll but then lost the battle with his personal demons.

The Wild Life of Johnny Cash
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
227

The Wild Life of Johnny Cash

1950s
Music
Drugs
Alcohol
Prison
Jan 11, 2022
-
18
minutes

Nicknamed "The Man in Black", Johnny Cash lived a wild life and escaped death on numerous occasions.

In this episode, we'll learn about his early trauma, his iconic image and style, how he managed to play 200 shows a year and the trail of destruction he left behind him.

The Amazing Life Of Ray Charles
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
226

The Amazing Life Of Ray Charles

Music
1950s
1960s
USA
Racism
Jan 7, 2022
-
18
minutes

His early life was full of tragedy and misfortune, but Ray Charles never let this get in his way.

In this episode, we'll learn about how Ray Charles overcame adversity to become one of the most loved musicians in American history.

The Fantastic Life of Oscar Wilde
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
215

The Fantastic Life of Oscar Wilde

20th Century
Art
English books
Theatre
Eccentric people
Nov 30, 2021
-
25
minutes

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all" - Oscar Wilde.

He was one of the most famous writers of the 19th century, yet his literary career was cut short after being thrown in prison for homosexuality.

In this episode, we'll explore the fantastic life of this iconic writer, and how "the love that dare not speak its name" would ultimately cost him his life.

A History of James Bond
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
208

A History of James Bond

Film & Cinema
Life in the UK
Business
Weird history
Literature
Nov 5, 2021
-
23
minutes

He is the most famous spy in the world and has been drinking vodka martinis and driving fast cars since 1952.

In this episode, we'll look at the history of 007, his creator Ian Fleming, how Bond has changed over the years, and the fascinating family business behind the UK's most famous special agent.

The Catcher in the Rye
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
185

The Catcher in the Rye

English books
Literature
USA
US politics
Morality
Aug 17, 2021
-
20
minutes

It's one of the most controversial books in American history and continues to be banned in many American classrooms.

In this episode, we'll explore this cult book, and the life of its mysterious author, J.D. Salinger.

Banned Books
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
184

Banned Books

Literature
English books
Politics
Philosophy
Morality
Aug 13, 2021
-
26
minutes

It's often said that the pen is mightier than the sword, and throughout history there are books that have been considered too dangerous to be read.

In this episode, we'll take a look at the times when governments have banned books, the reasons for this, and ask ourselves what this tells us about society.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
181

Geoffrey Chaucer

English writing
Poetry
The Middle Ages
Kings & Queens
England
Aug 3, 2021
-
24
minutes

He is often called the father of English literature, and his work has been enjoyed by people all over the world.

In this episode, we'll learn about this innovative author, his fascinating life, and how he created a new literary tradition.

The BBC
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
173

The BBC

Life in the UK
TV
Great Britain
Technology
UK politics
Jul 6, 2021
-
22
minutes

It's the world's oldest broadcaster and is trusted by hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Discover how the BBC works, the criticisms it faces in the UK, and what might happen to it in the future.

The Genius of William Shakespeare
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
162

The Genius of William Shakespeare

Shakespeare
Theatre
Great Britain
History of language
English writing
May 28, 2021
-
26
minutes

He is the most famous playwright in history and has been translated into every major living language.

In this episode, you'll learn about this fantastic man's life, his works, and why he is still called "the world's greatest living playwright".

Diego Maradona
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
146

Diego Maradona

Football
Sports
Argentina
Naples
Italy
Apr 2, 2021
-
23
minutes

He is considered by many to have been the greatest footballer to have ever lived, yet off the pitch his life was full of tragedy.

Learn about the fascinating history of this amazing man, and discover why he arrived in Naples as a hero and left as the most hated man in Italy.

Disney Part III: The Magic
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
138

Disney Part III: The Magic

Film & Cinema
Disneyland
1960s
USA
Weird history
Mar 5, 2021
-
19
minutes

In the last part of our three-part series on Disney, we take a look at the magic of Disney and ask ourselves what ingredients are in its special, magic sauce.

The National Trust
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
135

The National Trust

Art
The Victorian Era
Colonialism
Weird history
British class system
Feb 23, 2021
-
20
minutes

It controls some of the most beautiful houses in the country, 1.5% of the total land area of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 20% of the coastline.

In this episode we explore the fascinating history of the National Trust, and uncover where the money to build its properties actually came from.

Oasis vs. Blur
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
124

Oasis vs. Blur

Music
Life in the UK
1990s
Great Britain
England
Jan 15, 2021
-
20
minutes

In August 1995 Britain's two biggest bands battled for the number one position.

Discover what happened, how the battle divided the nation, and why the story is about much more than just music.

British Pubs
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
111

British Pubs

Life in the UK
Alcohol
Great Britain
Consumption
Food & drink
Dec 1, 2020
-
22
minutes

They are a quintessential part of British culture, and once there was one for every 187 people.

Learn about the history of pubs, why they are so popular, the threats facing them, and how much beer British people really drink.

Leonardo Da Vinci
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
100

Leonardo Da Vinci

Art
Italy
The Renaissance
Geniuses
Oct 23, 2020
-
20
minutes

He has been called 'the most relentlessly curious man in history', and was the quintessential Renaissance man.

Learn all about the fantastic life of the genius after whom Leonardo English is named, from his talents as an artist to his skills as an engineer, and get inspired by his insatiable curiosity about how the world works.

The Fantastic Life of Caravaggio
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
89

The Fantastic Life of Caravaggio

Art
Italy
Malta
Crime
Geniuses
Sep 15, 2020
-
21
minutes

He was the baddest of the bad-boy painters, and lived a remarkable life of crime, all while creating some of the most influential art of the 17th century.

From attacking waiters to murder, the story of his turbulent life takes us from Italy to Malta, making enemies at every step of the journey.

The Strangest Laws In The UK
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
79

The Strangest Laws In The UK

Life in the UK
The Queen
Alcohol
Crime
Funny stories
Aug 11, 2020
-
17
minutes

From what you can and can't do to a swan, to what happens if you have a drink and ride a horse, the UK is full of very strange laws.

In today's episode we discuss some of the strangest, and ask ourselves whether the law is any stranger in the UK than anywhere else in the world.

QAnon | America's Most Dangerous Conspiracy Theory?
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
74

QAnon | America's Most Dangerous Conspiracy Theory?

Donald Trump
Conspiracy theories
The Internet
USA
US politics
Jul 24, 2020
-
16
minutes

This far-right conspiracy theory has gone from niche internet forums to President Trump's Twitter account.

Discover the story behind QAnon - where does it come from, what do they believe, and is it really the most dangerous conspiracy theory in America?

The Weird History of Madame Tussauds
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
66

The Weird History of Madame Tussauds

Weird history
France
Life in the UK
Revolution
Jun 26, 2020
-
17
minutes

Discover the amazing story of how a young woman from France befriended the royal family, escaped the guillotine, made death masks of revolutionaries, and then created the world's most successful waxworks museum.

The story of Madame Tussauds has a lot more to it than meets the eye.

The British Sense of Humour
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
60

The British Sense of Humour

Life in the UK
TV
Comedy
Jun 5, 2020
-
17
minutes

People in Britain have a unique sense of humour.

For lots of foreigners it's difficult to understand and confusing. But British people are fiercely proud of their sense of humour, and the UK has produced some of the world's best comedies.

In this episode we take a look at what makes Brits laugh, and tell a few jokes along the way.

Harrods | The Playground of London's Rich & Famous
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
54

Harrods | The Playground of London's Rich & Famous

London
The Royal Family
Entrepreneurship
The Victorian Era
May 15, 2020
-
23
minutes

It's one of the most famous department stores in the world, catering to the world's rich and famous.

But it hasn't always been this way.

In this episode we take a look at the story of Harrods, and discover the fascinating and unusual history of this iconic London location.

The Royal Family
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
51

The Royal Family

London
The Royal Family
The Queen
Kings & Queens
May 5, 2020
-
24
minutes

It is Britain's best known family, and its head has one of the most recognisable faces in the world.

But how much do we really know about Britain's Royal Family?

In this episode we ask ourselves what Brits really think of The Queen and The Royal Family, and what the future might hold for them.

Fox News // The Presidential Propaganda Machine
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
47

Fox News // The Presidential Propaganda Machine

USA
US politics
True crime
Propaganda
Apr 24, 2020
-
19
minutes

It's one of the most powerful television channels in the United States, the current US president’s preferred news channel, and referred to by some as 'state TV'.

In today's episode we take a look at Fox News: who watches it, how it really makes money, and what event could cause its downfall.

April Fool's Day
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
40

April Fool's Day

Weird history
The BBC
Mar 31, 2020
-
18
minutes

It's the day of the year where people, newspapers, TV shows, and companies play practical jokes on the public.

Today we take a look at some of the best April Fool's Day jokes in history, and talk about what happens when they go wrong.

The Story Of A Fantastic Dictionary
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
39

The Story Of A Fantastic Dictionary

English writing
Weird history
Mar 27, 2020
-
14
minutes

In 1755, Samuel Johnson published an English dictionary that has gone down in history.

Not only was it the first of its kind, it was full of funny jokes.

Today we tell the story of this fantastic dictionary.

The Poets of World War One
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode

The Poets of World War One

Poetry
World War I
Feb 28, 2020
-
15
minutes

Today it's time to take a look at how World War One is remembered through poetry.

We look at the words of the young men, and how public feeling towards the war changed over its four-year course.

And of course, we look at some of the most iconic and moving poems written during the period.

Why Is All The News So Negative? And What If It Wasn't?
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
15

Why Is All The News So Negative? And What If It Wasn't?

Philosophy
The News
Jan 7, 2020
-
19
minutes

Why is the news always full of disasters?

What would the world be like if it wasn't?

In today's episode we take a look at some of the theories about why the news is always so negative, and imagine what kind of world might exist if it wasn't.

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