History

Bloody Celebrities | Gladiators in Ancient Rome
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
319

Bloody Celebrities | Gladiators in Ancient Rome

Romans
Violence
European history
Ancient History
War
Nov 29, 2022
-
26
minutes

In Rome's Colosseum, 50,000 people would watch men fight each other to the death.

In this episode, we look at what the life of a gladiator involved, why fights didn't always end in death, and discover why this bloodthirsty sport was finally stopped for good.

A Job From Hell | Slaves in Ancient Rome
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
318

A Job From Hell | Slaves in Ancient Rome

Romans
Slavery
Ancient History
Morality
European history
Nov 25, 2022
-
22
minutes

Ancient Rome was powered by the blood, sweat and tears of millions of slaves.

In this episode, we look at what life was like for really like people unlucky enough to be sold into slavery in Ancient Rome.

Alger Hiss | American Patriot or Cold War Spy?
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
315

Alger Hiss | American Patriot or Cold War Spy?

The Cold War
Communism
US politics
World War II
Crime
Nov 15, 2022
-
23
minutes

He was a Harvard-educated US government lawyer who helped defend the US constitution.

But in 1948, he was accused of being the worst thing possible…a Soviet spy.

In this episode, we explore the life of Alger Hiss and ask ourselves whether he was as innocent as he always claimed to be.

A History of Witches | Misogyny, Magic and Murder
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
312

A History of Witches | Misogyny, Magic and Murder

Magic
European history
Weird history
Crime
17th Century
Nov 4, 2022
-
24
minutes

For centuries, a woman could be accused of being a witch for the simple crime of being too poor, too rich, or too old.

For those accused, the trials were deeply unfair, and the punishment was often torture and death.

In this episode, we explore the unfair and bloody history of witches.

A History of Werewolves | Terror, Trials and Transformations
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
311

A History of Werewolves | Terror, Trials and Transformations

Crime
Magic
The Middle Ages
European history
Horror
Nov 1, 2022
-
22
minutes

For hundreds of years, European folklore was filled with stories of men who would turn into murderous wolves in the middle of the night.

Villagers would do everything they could to try to catch these “werewolves”, and when someone was suspected, the punishments were often brutal.

In this episode, we will explore the bloody history of werewolves.

A History of Vampires | Fangs, Fear and Fiction
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
310

A History of Vampires | Fangs, Fear and Fiction

18th Century
European history
Horror
Crime
Fiction
Oct 28, 2022
-
20
minutes

For hundreds of years, people have been afraid of blood-sucking creatures that rise from the dead.

But where does the vampire myth actually come from, what happened to the people accused of being a vampire, and what if there was a simple, biological explanation for it all?

The Titanic
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
309

The Titanic

20th Century
Disasters
1910s
British class system
Oct 25, 2022
-
27
minutes

On April 10th, 1912, The Titanic set sail for New York.

Four days later she would hit a huge iceberg, sinking the "unsinkable" ship, and resulting in the deaths of 1,500 passengers.

In this episode, we learn about the story of the world's most famous maritime disaster.

The Murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia Part 3 | A Culture of Impunity
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
308

The Murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia Part 3 | A Culture of Impunity

Malta
Crime
True crime
Corruption
European history
Oct 21, 2022
-
19
minutes

It has been 5 years since the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

In part three of this three-part mini-series, we look at what has happened since then and ask ourselves whether we are any closer to knowing the truth.

The Murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia Part 2 | Crooks Everywhere You Look
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
307

The Murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia Part 2 | Crooks Everywhere You Look

Malta
Crime
True crime
Corruption
Politics
Oct 18, 2022
-
17
minutes

A few months after Daphne's brutal assassination, the Maltese police raided a potato shed.

They would "find" three men who would later admit to being involved in the murder, but were they really any closer to the truth?

The Murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia Part 1 | Cocaine, Corruption, and Filthy Money
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
306

The Murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia Part 1 | Cocaine, Corruption, and Filthy Money

Malta
Corruption
Crime
True crime
Media
Oct 14, 2022
-
20
minutes

On October 16th, 2017, a 52-year-old journalist was blown up in a car bomb outside her home in Malta.

In part one of our three-part mini-series, we'll learn about who she was, and who might have wanted her dead.

Cheers! A Short History of Beer
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
305

Cheers! A Short History of Beer

Food & drink
Alcohol
Germany
Ireland
Weird history
Oct 11, 2022
-
19
minutes

It's the world's third most popular drink, after water and tea, and it has a fascinating history.

In this episode, we look at the development of beer over the years through three different stories, from Dublin to Delhi to Bavaria, and learn five curious facts about this popular drink.

The Life of Donald Trump
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
304

The Life of Donald Trump

USA
Donald Trump
20th Century
Business
US politics
Oct 7, 2022
-
24
minutes

He was the 45th President of the USA and the most controversial in recent history.

In this episode, we look at the life of Donald J. Trump and examine how he went from real estate developer to the leader of the free world.

Robert Mugabe | Zimbabwean Liberator Turned Tyrant
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
303

Robert Mugabe | Zimbabwean Liberator Turned Tyrant

Africa
Revolution
Colonialism
20th Century
Corruption
Oct 4, 2022
-
28
minutes

He was a shy and studious boy who went from schoolteacher to liberator of the "bread basket of Africa", Zimbabwe.

Yet after almost 30 years as President, he left behind a country with hyperinflation, food shortages and political corruption.

In this episode, we look at Robert Mugabe's transition from liberator to authoritarian tyrant.

The Bloody History of Bullfighting
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
302

The Bloody History of Bullfighting

Spain
Animals
European history
Morality
20th Century
Sep 30, 2022
-
25
minutes

It's one of the most controversial topics in modern Spain; some say it's a cultural art form, and others say it's a brutal form of torture.

In this episode, we look at the history of bullfighting through the ages and ask ourselves what lies ahead.

Stanislav Petrov - The Man Who Stopped Nuclear War
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
301

Stanislav Petrov - The Man Who Stopped Nuclear War

The Cold War
Russia
War
20th Century
1980s
Sep 27, 2022
-
25
minutes

On September 26th, 1983, the Soviet early-warning systems indicated that five ballistic missiles were flying towards the USSR.

Going against all his training, Stanislav Petrov decided to not raise the alarm. The cool and calm head of this one man may well have prevented a nuclear holocaust.

The Murder of Maurizio Gucci
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
297

The Murder of Maurizio Gucci

Luxury lifestyle
Crime
True crime
Fashion
Italy
Sep 13, 2022
-
24
minutes

In March of 1995, the grandson of the founder of Gucci was shot and killed outside his office in Milan.

In this episode, we look at the complicated backstory of family rivalry, and see who ordered the assassination of Maurizio Gucci.

Osama Bin Laden | The World's Most Wanted Man
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
296

Osama Bin Laden | The World's Most Wanted Man

20th Century
Terrorism
The Middle East
Afghanistan
Crime
Sep 9, 2022
-
22
minutes

He was put on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" list in 1999, and he would only be removed after he was hunted down and killed by US operatives in 2011

In this episode, we will tell the story of how Osama bin Laden went from a shy, religious young boy to the world's most famous terrorist.

The US Withdrawal From Afghanistan
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
293

The US Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Afghanistan
The Middle Ages
USA
Politics
War
Aug 30, 2022
-
27
minutes

On August 30th of 2021, the United States left Afghanistan after a 20-year occupation.

In this episode, we look at what happened, and why the return of the Taliban didn't come as a shock to everyone.

Sigmund Freud | Father of Psychoanalysis
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
290

Sigmund Freud | Father of Psychoanalysis

Psychology
Medicine
Health
Dreams
Jewish history
Aug 19, 2022
-
24
minutes

To some, he was a visionary who helped us understand our unconscious mind. To others, he was a sex-crazed maniac who made no contributions to psychiatry.

In this episode, we'll explore the fascinating life and works of Sigmund Freud.

King Leopold II of Belgium | The Butcher of Congo
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
289

King Leopold II of Belgium | The Butcher of Congo

Africa
Colonialism
Crime
19th Century
Belgium
Aug 16, 2022
-
23
minutes

To his people, he was a visionary builder who put Belgium on the world map.

To the people of the Congo, he was a brutal ruler who killed millions.

In this episode, we'll explore the life and legacy of the man who would become known as the "Butcher of Congo".

Albert Pierrepoint | Britain’s Most Famous Executioner
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
288

Albert Pierrepoint | Britain’s Most Famous Executioner

Crime
Law
World War II
Great Britain
Weird history
Aug 12, 2022
-
22
minutes

He was Britain's most famous hangman and was responsible for the executions of up to 600 prisoners.

In this episode, we'll explore the curious life of a man who ended people's lives for a living.

Humans For Lunch | A Short History of Cannibalism
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
287

Humans For Lunch | A Short History of Cannibalism

Weird history
Psychology
Sociology
Colonialism
Death
Aug 9, 2022
-
24
minutes

For as long as there have been humans, there have been humans who have eaten other humans.

In this episode, we'll explore the curious and unappetising world of human cannibalism.

The Atomic Bomb Part 3: The Aftermath
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
286

The Atomic Bomb Part 3: The Aftermath

Nuclear Weapons
The Cold War
Ethics
Morality
War
Aug 5, 2022
-
19
minutes

Part three of our three-part mini-series on The Atomic Bomb.

Ever since the atomic bomb was dropped, people have been asking whether it was actually necessary.

In this episode, we'll explore the arguments for and against the use of atomic weapons in World War II, and look at how this has changed the world we live in.

The Atomic Bomb Part 2: Hiroshima & Nagasaki
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
285

The Atomic Bomb Part 2: Hiroshima & Nagasaki

Nuclear Weapons
World War II
USA
Japan
Scientists
Aug 2, 2022
-
23
minutes

Part two of our three-part mini-series on The Atomic Bomb.

On 6 August 1945, at 08:15am, the first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. Three days later a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki.

In this episode we'll explore these destructive three days, and look at what actually happened.

The Atomic Bomb Part 1: The Manhattan Project
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
284

The Atomic Bomb Part 1: The Manhattan Project

World War II
The Cold War
Nuclear Weapons
USA
Scientists
Jul 29, 2022
-
18
minutes

Part one of this three-part mini-series on The Atomic Bomb.

In this episode, we explore the discovery of nuclear fission, the key scientists involved, The Manhattan Project and the race to develop a functioning atomic bomb.

The Tower of London
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
280

The Tower of London

London
The Middle Ages
Crime
Kings & Queens
UK politics
Jul 15, 2022
-
20
minutes

It is one of London's most famous tourist attractions, and it has an amazing history that not all tourists are aware of.

In this episode, we'll explore the bloody but fascinating history of London's oldest standing building.

The East India Company: The Company That Conquered A Country
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
279

The East India Company: The Company That Conquered A Country

India
The British Empire
Colonialism
War
Capitalism
Jul 12, 2022
-
25
minutes

It's the story of how one company turned from a small trading organisation to a massive corporation with a private army of 250,000 soldiers.

In this episode, we'll learn about how The British East India Company took over India.

Alaska: The Last Frontier
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
277

Alaska: The Last Frontier

USA
Adventure
18th Century
19th Century
Environment
Jul 5, 2022
-
20
minutes

It's the largest American state, but it is closer to Russia than to any other part of the USA.

In this episode, we explore the fascinating history of Alaska, and see how buying this 1.7 million square kilometre piece of unusable land turned out to be a very clever geopolitical decision.

Grigori Rasputin - The Mad Monk
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
268

Grigori Rasputin - The Mad Monk

Russia
20th Century
Eccentric people
Medicine
Crime
Jun 3, 2022
-
25
minutes

He was the peasant who went from a village in Siberia to the centre of the Russian imperial court, befriending the Tsar and Tsarina, and playing a role in the downfall of Russia’s longest-serving dynasty, The Romanovs.

In this episode, we'll learn about the unlikely but fascinating life of Grigori Rasputin.

Meyer Lansky: The Mob's Accountant
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
264

Meyer Lansky: The Mob's Accountant

The Mafia
Crime
True crime
1930s
Cuba
May 20, 2022
-
23
minutes

He was a famous organised criminal known for his superior mathematical skills.

In this episode, we'll learn how Meyer Lansky took the American criminal underworld by storm, built an empire and managed to evade the authorities.

The Prohibition Era
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
261

The Prohibition Era

Alcohol
USA
Politics
1920s
20th Century
May 10, 2022
-
26
minutes

For a 13-year period, the United States of America conducted a "Noble Experiment" where alcohol was made illegal.

It was a bold idea, but it didn't have the results people had hoped for.

Nikola Tesla: Electrical Genius
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
259

Nikola Tesla: Electrical Genius

Electricity
19th Century
Geniuses
European history
Business
May 3, 2022
-
25
minutes

He was the brilliant Serbian scientist most famous for his inventions in the field of electrical engineering.

In this episode, we'll look at the eccentric genius behind inventions such as the AC motor and the Tesla coil.

The War Of The Currents
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
258

The War Of The Currents

19th Century
USA
Inventions
Eccentric people
Scientists
Apr 29, 2022
-
27
minutes

In the late 19th century there was fierce competition to provide electricity to the rapidly industrialising USA. The winner would be rewarded with huge wealth and fame.

But who would claim the prize, and how dirty would the fight get?

Thomas Edison: The Greatest Inventor In The World?
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
257

Thomas Edison: The Greatest Inventor In The World?

Inventions
19th Century
USA
Business
Electricity
Apr 26, 2022
-
23
minutes

He was the world's first "celebrity inventor", and was credited with inventing the incandescent light bulb, phonograph and even a talking doll.

But how much of Edison's work was real "invention", and how much was building on what had come before?

En Garde! A History Of Duelling
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
254

En Garde! A History Of Duelling

Weird history
The Middle Ages
War
The Renaissance
France
Apr 15, 2022
-
21
minutes

For much of human civilisation, people have fought each to the death as a way of resolving arguments.

In this episode, we'll explore the curious and bloody history of one-on-one combat, from ancient Rome to 20th century France.

Boudicca: The Woman Who Fought The Romans
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
251

Boudicca: The Woman Who Fought The Romans

Life in the UK
Romans
Revolution
War
Women's rights
Apr 5, 2022
-
24
minutes

She was the fiery Celtic queen who rose up against the all-powerful Roman army and almost defeated it.

In this episode, we'll learn about the story of this amazing woman's rebellion against the Romans and the mark she left on British history and culture.

A History of Smoking
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
250

A History of Smoking

Drugs
European history
Colonialism
Business
Advertising
Apr 1, 2022
-
24
minutes

There are over a billion smokers across the world, and over 7 trillion cigarettes are smoked every year.

In this episode, we'll look at the history of smoking, from the "discovery" of tobacco by Christopher Columbus to how tobacco companies keep us smoking, even when we know the dangers to our health.

Cornish Smugglers
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
246

Cornish Smugglers

18th Century
Pirates
Great Britain
Alcohol
Crime
Mar 18, 2022
-
22
minutes

In the 18th century, a small region of southwest England was the national centre for the illegal importing of goods such as tea and rum.

In this episode, we'll discover how smuggling really worked, who was involved, and why it was so successful for such a long period of time.

Operation Pied Piper: The Evacuation of British Cities in World War II
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
242

Operation Pied Piper: The Evacuation of British Cities in World War II

World War II
London
Life in the UK
War
Great Britain
Mar 4, 2022
-
26
minutes

In September 1939, the British government embarked on the biggest civilian operation in British history when it moved over a million children out of British cities to live with strangers in the countryside.

In this episode, we'll learn about this amazing mission and the mark it left on the country.

The Mystery Of Thule
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
241

The Mystery Of Thule

Greece
Exploration
Philosophy
The Arctic
Adventure
Mar 1, 2022
-
19
minutes

For centuries it was believed to be a mythical freezing island on the edge of the world, too cold to sustain human life.

But now historians believe that they have finally solved the mystery of the freezing island of Thule.

A Short History Of Tea
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
238

A Short History Of Tea

Food & drink
China
The British Empire
17th Century
India
Feb 18, 2022
-
22
minutes

It's the second most popular drink in the world after water, with 3.7 billion cups drunk every single day.

In this episode, we explore tea's fascinating history, how it changed global politics, caused countries to go to war with each other, and literally changed the world

Bonnie & Clyde
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
235

Bonnie & Clyde

Crime
USA
The Great Depression
1930s
Prison
Feb 8, 2022
-
22
minutes

They are probably the most infamous criminal couple in history, and their story of love, robberies, murder and running away from the law has been immortalised in books, film, TV series, song, and popular culture.

But who were the real Bonnie & Clyde?

The Great Stink
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
233

The Great Stink

The Victorian Era
London
City life
19th Century
Life in the UK
Feb 1, 2022
-
19
minutes

In the summer of 1858 London was hit by a terrible smell coming from the river Thames.

In this episode, we'll learn about why the capital city smelled so bad, what was done about it, and the solution found by an ingenious civil engineer to ensure it never happened again.

When Britain Killed Its King
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
232

When Britain Killed Its King

17th Century
Great Britain
War
Kings & Queens
UK politics
Jan 28, 2022
-
30
minutes

In the 17th century, Britain decided to kill its king and experiment with life without a monarch.

In this episode we'll learn about the English Civil War, the 11 years the country spent without a monarch, why the monarchy was eventually restored, and the impact this had on the country.

Predictions Of The Future From The Past
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
224

Predictions Of The Future From The Past

21st Century
19th Century
The Future
Adventure
Technology
Dec 31, 2021
-
24
minutes

As a general rule, people are very bad at predicting the future.

In this episode, we'll take a look at some predictions of the future from the past, looking at what people thought our "today" would be like, the times they got it wrong, the times they got it eerily correct, and we'll also look at some predictions about what the future holds for future generations.

The Kray Twins
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
223

The Kray Twins

True crime
Crime
London
1960s
Music
Dec 28, 2021
-
22
minutes

Ronnie and Reggie Kray were two twin brothers who terrorised London during the 1950s and 60s.

In this episode, learn about how they built up their criminal empire, partied with celebrities, slept with politicians and threatened anyone who got in their way.

John Dillinger
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
222

John Dillinger

Crime
20th Century
The Great Depression
True crime
USA
Dec 24, 2021
-
24
minutes

He was the most famous bank robber in American history and is still thought of as a Robin Hood-type figure in popular culture.

Learn about how John Dillinger went from a quiet life to becoming America's Public Enemy Number One, and how the law finally caught up with him.

Al Capone
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
221

Al Capone

Crime
True crime
The Great Depression
20th Century
Prison
Dec 21, 2021
-
26
minutes

He was the most famous gangster in American history and dominated Prohibition-era Chicago.

In this episode, we look at the criminal mastermind with the nickname "Scarface", and see how he gained control over a billion-dollar illegal empire.

The Real Peaky Blinders
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
220

The Real Peaky Blinders

True crime
19th Century
The Victorian Era
Crime
Film & Cinema
Dec 17, 2021
-
23
minutes

The Peaky Blinders were a violent gang that terrorised the streets of Birmingham in the late 19th century.

Who actually were these men, what did they do, to who and why, and were the "real" Peaky Blinders anything like the ones in the TV series?

Robert Baden-Powell & The Boy Scouts
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
214

Robert Baden-Powell & The Boy Scouts

20th Century
Adventure
The British Empire
Colonialism
Children
Nov 26, 2021
-
21
minutes

Within the course of a few years, Robert Baden-Powell created a global movement that united children from all over the world.

In this episode, we'll take a look at how he came up with the idea, why it was so appealing, and the legacy that he has left on the world.

A Short History of Childhood
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
212

A Short History of Childhood

The Enlightenment
Sociology
Children
Philosophy
The Victorian Era
Nov 19, 2021
-
27
minutes

Although there have always been children, the concept of "childhood" is more recent than many people think, with one French historian declaring that childhood didn't exist until the 17th century.

In this episode, we'll explore how ideas of childhood have changed, from John Locke to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, from the English Romantic poets right through to the creation of the teenager in post-war America.

A Short History of London
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
209

A Short History of London

London
Life in the UK
Kings & Queens
Romans
17th Century
Nov 9, 2021
-
28
minutes

It's the capital of the UK and one of the most important cities in the world.

In this episode, we'll look at the amazing history of London, from its Roman roots through to fires, plagues, Nazi attacks, right through to the modern-day.

Queen Elizabeth II
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
206

Queen Elizabeth II

Great Britain
The Queen
Kings & Queens
Life in the UK
The British Empire
Oct 29, 2021
-
26
minutes

She is the longest-serving monarch in British history and has lived through 14 British prime ministers and 13 US presidents.

In this episode, we'll take a look at the remarkable life of Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, and ask ourselves how she, the monarchy, and the country have changed since she became queen almost 70 years ago.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Robbery
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
201

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Robbery

Crime
USA
Art
True crime
The Mafia
Oct 12, 2021
-
24
minutes

It's one of the largest robberies in history and resulted in the disappearance of $600 million worth of art.

Discover what the robbers did, what happened afterwards, who the main suspects are, and why the case may never be solved.

Stéphane Breitwieser: The Greatest Art Thief of All Time
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
200

Stéphane Breitwieser: The Greatest Art Thief of All Time

Crime
True crime
Fraud
France
Eccentric people
Oct 8, 2021
-
24
minutes

From 1995 to 2001, a man from eastern France stole 239 different pieces of art from 172 museums, an average of one theft every 14 days.

It's estimated that the value of all the stolen art was over 1 billion Euros, but he never sold a single piece of it.

The Greatest Art Thefts Of All Time
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
199

The Greatest Art Thefts Of All Time

Crime
True crime
European history
Weird history
The Mafia
Oct 5, 2021
-
27
minutes

In this episode, part 1 of our three-part series on Art Theft, it's time to learn about five of the most famous art thefts of all time.

From Mexican university dropouts to the time an art gallery made €50 million after a theft, we look at how and why famous art is stolen, and who is usually behind it.

A History of Pirates
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
198

A History of Pirates

17th Century
18th Century
Crime
True crime
Colonialism
Oct 1, 2021
-
27
minutes

"Let's jump on board and cut them to pieces!" - Blackbeard.

"A merry life and a short one" - Captain Bartholomew Roberts.

Pirates have a special place in our imagination. They are both heroes and villains, their lives attractive but scary.

In this episode, we'll take a closer look at pirates through history, the situations that allowed them to exist and prosper, what life as a pirate was actually like, what caused the Golden Age of Piracy to come to an end, and the legacy that they left behind.

Highwaymen
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
197

Highwaymen

17th Century
18th Century
Great Britain
Crime
True crime
Sep 28, 2021
-
23
minutes

For a period of around 150 years, groups of men terrorised the English roads.

They would rush out in front of carriages, point a pistol at the people inside, and take all of their money.

In this episode, we'll look at what circumstances allowed highwaymen to flourish, what they actually did, and why they have been romanticised ever since.

Ferdinand Magellan & The First Voyage Around The World
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
196

Ferdinand Magellan & The First Voyage Around The World

Spain
Portugal
European history
Adventure
Asia
Sep 24, 2021
-
28
minutes

In September 1519, a Portuguese explorer and a crew of 270 men set sail from Spain trying to find a sea route west, through the Americas.

Three years later, 18 of the men returned, tired and hungry, but becoming the first people to have successfully completed a full circle of the Earth.

Spartacus & The Gladiator War
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
193

Spartacus & The Gladiator War

Romans
Slavery
Revolution
War
Politics
Sep 14, 2021
-
25
minutes

In 73BC, a group of 70 gladiators escaped from a training school outside Naples.

It turned into the biggest slave rebellion in ancient history and has inspired people all over the world.

In this episode, we'll learn about what actually happened, why the rebellion was so successful, and the fascinating legacy it has left.

Bonnie Prince Charlie
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
188

Bonnie Prince Charlie

Scotland
18th Century
Great Britain
European history
UK politics
Aug 27, 2021
-
29
minutes

In 1745 Charles Stuart arrived on the west coast of Scotland with the aim of taking back the throne of England, Scotland and Ireland.

It didn't go as planned and resulted in the last battle fought on British soil.

In this episode, we'll learn about his failed rebellion, and the legacy he has left on Great Britain.

Mary Queen of Scots
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
187

Mary Queen of Scots

Scotland
The Catholic Church
UK politics
Great Britain
France
Aug 24, 2021
-
25
minutes

She became queen of Scotland when she was only six days old, and the rest of her life was filled with tragedy, betrayal, and bad men.

Learn all about the history of this brave queen, and what her story tells us about life as a woman in the sixteenth century.

William Wallace
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
186

William Wallace

Scotland
UK politics
The Middle Ages
War
Politics
Aug 20, 2021
-
23
minutes

He was the Scottish rebel who fought against the English and has become the most famous freedom fighter in Scottish history.

In this episode, we'll learn all about his battles against the English, and the legacy that William Wallace left on the country.

Winston Churchill: A British Icon
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
179

Winston Churchill: A British Icon

20th Century
English speaking
Politics
UK politics
World War II
Jul 27, 2021
-
27
minutes

He was the iconic wartime leader of the United Kingdom, but his life was not without controversy.

Learn about his fascinating life, his work, and the legacy he has left on Britain.

The Space Race - Part One | The Early Years
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
176

The Space Race - Part One | The Early Years

Space
USA
Russia
The Cold War
World War II
Jul 16, 2021
-
24
minutes

After the end of the Second World War, the US and the USSR were locked in a race to get to space first.

Discover how the race started, who scored all the early points, and why going to the moon first was the biggest prize in space history.

The Curious Taste of British Food
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
172

The Curious Taste of British Food

Food & drink
Life in the UK
Great Britain
The British Empire
England
Jul 2, 2021
-
24
minutes

British food has a bad reputation. It's often considered boring, uninspiring, and tasteless.

But it hasn't always been this way.

Discover what role William the Conqueror, Henry VIII, The French Revolution and Colonialism all played in making British food taste the way it does.

The Curious History of Spice
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
168

The Curious History of Spice

Weird history
Food & drink
Asia
India
The Middle Ages
Jun 18, 2021
-
20
minutes

Spices are an integral part of almost every cuisine in the world and are something that most of us now take for granted.

Yet spices used to be an incredibly valuable commodity and were the preserve of only the very richest in some societies.

In this episode, we'll learn more about how they went from being the preserve of the very richest in society to something that we sprinkle on our dishes without worrying about the cost.

Pompeii
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
163

Pompeii

Romans
Natural world
Italy
Naples
Volcano
Jun 1, 2021
-
20
minutes

In AD79 Mount Vesuvius erupted, covering much of the nearby area in a thick layer of ash and killing thousands of people.

Today we tell the story of what happened, what archaeologists discovered in the ancient town, and what secrets about Roman life have been uncovered.

Politics & The Olympic Games
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
160

Politics & The Olympic Games

Sports
Greece
Politics
US politics
Apartheid
May 21, 2021
-
26
minutes

The Olympics are meant to be a politics-free zone.

But is this ever really possible?

In this episode, we'll learn about the history of The Olympics, and analyse five times politics was at the heart of the games.

The Grand Tour
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
156

The Grand Tour

Great Britain
The British Empire
Italy
European history
British class system
May 7, 2021
-
23
minutes

“A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority, from his not having seen what it is expected a man should see.”

It was the trip of a lifetime, where young, aristocratic British men would travel across Europe and open their eyes to new worlds.

Discover why these men would do this, how they travelled, what they got up to, and what it tells us about our relationship with tourism today.

The French Revolution
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
152

The French Revolution

18th Century
France
Revolution
Napoleon
Kings & Queens
Apr 23, 2021
-
28
minutes

It is the most famous revolution in Europe and saw the continent's most populous country execute its monarch and restructure its society.

From guillotines to out of touch queens, the French Revolution is the story of how France became the country of "liberté, égalité, and fraternité".

The American Revolution
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
151

The American Revolution

USA
18th Century
Colonialism
The British Empire
Revolution
Apr 20, 2021
-
26
minutes

The United States of America is a global superpower, but 250 years ago its eastern states belonged to Great Britain.

Learn about how they broke free, why they rose up against their colonial masters, and how the story almost had a very different ending.

The Industrial Revolution
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
150

The Industrial Revolution

18th Century
Great Britain
The British Empire
Entrepreneurship
British class system
Apr 16, 2021
-
26
minutes

It was the period in the mid 18th century where Britain experienced a radical transformation.

The Industrial Revolution saw huge improvements in manufacturing, millions of people move to the cities and the fabric of British society change forever.

The Enlightenment
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
149

The Enlightenment

17th Century
18th Century
Philosophy
Mathematics
Economics
Apr 13, 2021
-
28
minutes

It was the intellectual movement in 17th and 18th century Europe, where thinkers started to question the status quo.

From science to philosophy, The Age of Enlightenment saw an explosion in critical thinking and laid the groundwork for some huge shifts in society.

The Death of God's Banker
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
147

The Death of God's Banker

Crime
1980s
Italy
The Mafia
Business
Apr 6, 2021
-
20
minutes

On June the 18th, 1982, a man was found hanging from under a bridge in London.

His name was Roberto Calvi, and he was the boss of one of Italy's largest private banks, with strong links to the Vatican.

Here is the story about who he was, what he was doing, who might have killed him, and why we might never know the truth.

Whaling
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
144

Whaling

Environment
Animals
Consumption
USA
Weird history
Mar 26, 2021
-
18
minutes

It has been called the "bloodiest business in history", and cost the lives of 3 million whales.

In today's episode, we take a look at the amazing history of whaling, from how it really worked to the reasons it went on for so long.

The Great Siege of Malta
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
143

The Great Siege of Malta

Malta
European history
Turkey
Christianity
The Middle Ages
Mar 23, 2021
-
24
minutes

In 1565 an army of 40,000 Ottoman soldiers attacked the tiny island of Malta.

On the island, a force of just 700 Knights and 8,000 Maltese soldiers stood against the invading army.

Here is the fantastic story of what actually happened.

Scotland
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
142

Scotland

Scotland
Great Britain
Life in the UK
UK politics
European history
Mar 19, 2021
-
17
minutes

It's one of the four countries that form part of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and has a fantastic history of invention, rivalry with its neighbour, and fierce pride.

In this episode, we take a look at the fantastic history of Scotland and ask ourselves how long it will remain part of the UK.

Disney Part I: The History
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
136

Disney Part I: The History

Film & Cinema
Art
Advertising
Business
Weird history
Feb 26, 2021
-
21
minutes

In the first part of our three-part series, we take a look at the fascinating history of Disney.

From why Mickey Mouse isn't a rabbit through to what Walt Disney was like as a person, the history of Disney is as interesting as it is magical.

Valentine's Day
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
132

Valentine's Day

Romans
The Middle Ages
Advertising
Christianity
Feb 12, 2021
-
19
minutes

It's the day of the year where we celebrate love and desire.

But where does it actually come from?

The origins of Valentine's Day are mysterious, and not even that closely related to love at all.

The Black Death
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
129

The Black Death

The Middle Ages
Health
Pandemic
European history
Christianity
Feb 2, 2021
-
22
minutes

It was the most deadly pandemic in human history, and was responsible for reducing the world's population by half a billion people.

Learn about the gruesome story of The Black Death, from how it started through to the devastating effects it had on Europe and the Middle East.

Genghis Khan
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
123

Genghis Khan

Central Asia
War
Mongolia
China
Asia
Jan 12, 2021
-
23
minutes

He was the ruler of the Mongols and the most powerful man in the world.

In this episode, you'll learn about his early life, how he united the Mongol tribes, and we'll ask ourselves whether he was really as brutal as he is often made out to be.

Giuseppe Garibaldi
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
119

Giuseppe Garibaldi

Italy
South America
European history
Revolution
France
Dec 29, 2020
-
26
minutes

He was the charismatic, guerilla fighter who will forever be associated with pro-independence movements, and is an Italian national hero.

In this episode you'll learn about his fascinating life, and the unlikely story of how he managed to unify Italy.

9 Things That Happened on Christmas Day
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
118

9 Things That Happened on Christmas Day

Christmas
Weird history
European history
The Cold War
World War I
Dec 25, 2020
-
18
minutes

You might think that nothing of historical importance ever happens on Christmas Day, but you'd be wrong.

Here are 9 weird and wonderful events.

The one thing they have in common? They all happened on December 25th.

The Great Fire of London
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
115

The Great Fire of London

London
Life in the UK
England
Great Britain
Weird history
Dec 15, 2020
-
17
minutes

In 1666 a huge fire swept through London, destroying much of the city and making a third of the population homeless.

Learn about how it started, what happened, why it happened, and the effect it left on the country's capital.

Mao Zedong
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
113

Mao Zedong

China
Asia
Communism
Politics
The Cold War
Dec 8, 2020
-
22
minutes

He was the founding father of China, and ruled the country until his death until 1976.

Learn about his early life, his rise to power, his rule of China, and the complicated legacy he left behind.

The British Empire
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
109

The British Empire

The British Empire
India
USA
The Victorian Era
Great Britain
Nov 24, 2020
-
21
minutes

Discover how one small country's appetite for expansion led it to control a quarter of the world's population and a quarter of the world's land area.

Learn about the how, when, and why of the British empire, and learn about the complicated legacy it has left in Britain and abroad.

Penal Colonies
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
108

Penal Colonies

The British Empire
Australia
Crime
Great Britain
Prison
Nov 20, 2020
-
17
minutes

Starting in the 17th century, Britain sent hundreds of thousands of people to America and Australia for crimes as small as stealing a loaf of bread.

Learn about why this happened, how it worked, and the legacy it has left on the countries where these prisoners were sent to.

Coffee
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
105

Coffee

Coffee
Consumption
The Enlightenment
The Middle East
The Catholic Church
Nov 10, 2020
-
17
minutes

Learn about the fascinating history of this little bean, how it was first discovered, helped create the 'penny university' and rose to its current position as the world's most popular drug.

Oswald Mosley & British Fascism
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
101

Oswald Mosley & British Fascism

Great Britain
World War II
World War I
Politics
Hitler
Oct 27, 2020
-
22
minutes

He was called 'probably the best orator in England', and founded The British Union of Fascists.

Learn about the fascinating life of Oswald Mosley, how he brought fascism to Britain, and why it was soundly rejected by the British people.

The Vikings
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
96

The Vikings

Vikings
European history
The Middle Ages
Terrorism
Oct 9, 2020
-
23
minutes

For almost 300 years the Vikings terrorised large parts of Europe, arriving in boats and killing anyone that got in their way.

But they were also traders, inventors, and storytellers, and they have had a lasting legacy on the world we live in.

The Opium Wars
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
93

The Opium Wars

China
Great Britain
Drugs
The Victorian Era
Sep 29, 2020
-
18
minutes

In the 19th century Britain went to war with China over the drugs, causing the downfall of ancient China and a 'century of humiliation'.

Discover what happened, why Britain did this, and why this story is vitally important if you want to understand modern China.

The House of Medici
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
90

The House of Medici

Art
Italy
The Renaissance
The Catholic Church
Kings & Queens
Sep 18, 2020
-
18
minutes

The Medici family rose to power in Florence in the 1400s, and controlled the city for a large part of the Renaissance. Their legacy lives on through much of the art, culture, and architecture that we now take for granted.

In this episode we tell the story of how they rose to power and developed the idea of modern philanthropy.

Tito | The Man Who Stood Up To Stalin
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
84

Tito | The Man Who Stood Up To Stalin

World War I
World War II
Russia
Communism
Hitler
Aug 28, 2020
-
21
minutes

Tito, the former president of Yugoslavia, survived 21 assassination attempts, fought in two world wars, and managed to stand up to Josef Stalin and live to tell the tale.

In this episode we tell the tale of the fascinating life of Josip Broz, 'Tito'.

Robert Maxwell | From Baron to Villain
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
73

Robert Maxwell | From Baron to Villain

Business
British class system
Crime
UK politics
World War II
Jul 21, 2020
-
15
minutes

Discover the story of the man who escaped the Nazis, built up a publishing empire in Great Britain, then died mysteriously off the coast of the Canary Islands after stealing £500 million from his employees’ pension pots.

The Great Game
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
71

The Great Game

Central Asia
Russia
Great Britain
The Cold War
Politics
Jul 14, 2020
-
20
minutes

In the 19th century, young British and Russian men played a dangerous diplomatic game in central Asia.

Discover the unknown story of how these two empires fought for power in Afghanistan, and the men behind the story.

The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
63

The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi

True crime
The Catholic Church
Crime
Corruption
Jun 16, 2020
-
22
minutes

In 1983, a 16 year old girl who lived in the Vatican City didn't return home after a music lesson.

This true story involves the pope, gangsters, Turkish ultra-nationalists, and The Vatican Bank.

It's time to tell the story of Emanuela Orlandi.

The Great Exhibition
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
59

The Great Exhibition

London
The Queen
The Victorian Era
Jun 2, 2020
-
19
minutes

In 1851, in London's Hyde Park, an immense glass structure towered above the trees.

Inside was an exhibition of the latest technologies, available for all to see.

It was so impressive that 1/3 of the British population came to see it, and Queen Victoria even visited 41 times.

In this episode, we tell the story of The Great Exhibition, and the mark it left on Britain, and the world.

The Spanish Flu
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
48

The Spanish Flu

World War I
USA
Pandemic
Apr 28, 2020
-
22
minutes

The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 infected 1/3 of the world's population, and it's estimated that it killed up to 100 million people.

In today's episode we take a look at what really happened, how it spread so quickly, and what countries did to contain it.

Guy Fawkes // The Man Who Tried To Blow Up Parliament
Bonus | Member-only episode
Episode
45

Guy Fawkes // The Man Who Tried To Blow Up Parliament

London
Kings & Queens
Terrorism
UK politics
Life in the UK
Apr 17, 2020
-
17
minutes

In the early hours of November 5th, 1605, a man was found in a cellar under The Houses of Parliament. He was moments away from blowing everything up, killing the King, and changing the course of British history forever.

Today we tell the story of Guy Fawkes, and how we went from religious terrorist to anti-establishment icon.

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