You're Dead to Me

BBC Radio 4

The comedy podcast that takes history seriously. Greg Jenner brings together the best names in comedy and history to learn and laugh about the past.

  • 28 minutes 9 seconds
    The Inca Empire (Radio Edit)

    Greg Jenner is joined by Professor Bill Sillar and comedian Sue Perkins to learn all about the South American Inca empire. At their height, the Inca controlled a vast territory from their base in Peru, one that stretched down the mountainous west coast of the continent, from Ecuador all the way down to Argentina. But the empire barely lasted for a century. Beginning in the mid-15th Century, it fell in the 1530s with the arrival of Spanish conquistadores, led by Pizarro. This episode goes beyond famous sites like Machu Picchu and explores all aspects of Incan life, death – and taxes! Along the way, it takes in social and family structures, food and drink, religious practices, art and architecture. [The podcast version of this episode has been edited slightly to amend an incorrect reference to the weight of the stones carried from Cuzco to Ecuador]

    This is a radio edit of the original podcast episode. For the full-length version, please look further back in the feed.

    Research by: Andrew Himmelberg Written by: Andrew Himmelberg, Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow, Emma Nagouse and Greg Jenner Produced by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow and Greg Jenner Audio Producer: Steve Hankey Production Coordinator: Caitlin Hobbs Senior Producer: Emma Nagouse

    14 June 2024, 8:00 am
  • 28 minutes 14 seconds
    The Queen of Sheba (Radio Edit)

    Greg Jenner is joined by Dr Jillian Stinchcomb and comedian Sadia Azmat to learn all about the legendary Queen of Sheba. From her first appearance in the Hebrew Bible, the Queen of Sheba has fascinated Jewish, Muslim and Christian writers. But do we know anything about her as a historical figure? And how has her story been told, used and reinterpreted throughout history? This episode traces the legends written about the Queen of Sheba across Europe, Africa and the Middle East from 600 BCE to today, exploring the ambiguous and contradictory depictions of her as a wise and powerful ruler, an exoticised and seductive woman, the founding member of an Ethiopian royal dynasty, and a possible half-demon!

    This is a radio edit of the original podcast episode. For the full-length version, please look further back in the feed.

    Research by: Jon Mason Written by: Jon Mason, Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow, Emma Nagouse and Greg Jenner Produced by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow and Greg Jenner Audio Producer: Steve Hankey Senior Producer: Emma Nagouse

    7 June 2024, 8:00 am
  • 12 minutes 5 seconds
    Introducing History's Secret Heroes Series 2

    Helena Bonham Carter shines a light on extraordinary stories from World War Two. Join her for tales of deception, resistance and courage in History's Secret Heroes Series 2.

    4 June 2024, 2:53 pm
  • 28 minutes 32 seconds
    The History of Bollywood (Radio Edit)

    In this episode, Greg Jenner is joined by Professor Sunny Singh and broadcaster Poppy Jay to learn all about the history of Indian cinema, colloquially known as Bollywood. Filmmaking technology arrived in India in 1896, only six months after the Lumiere brothers debuted their invention in Paris. Nowadays, over 700 films are released in India every year, and it is the most popular cinema in the world, reaching over a billion more viewers a year than Hollywood. From the first Indian film in 1913, through the arrival of 'talkies' and colour in the 1930s, to its incredible success today, this episode explores the vibrant history of Bollywood, and the way it has reflected and shaped modern Indian society and politics.

    This is a radio edit of the original podcast episode. For the full-length version, please look further back in the feed.

    Research by: Madeleine Bracey Written by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow, Emma Nagouse and Greg Jenner Produced by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow and Greg Jenner Audio Producer: Steve Hankey Production Coordinator: Caitlin Hobbs Senior Producer: Emma Nagouse

    31 May 2024, 6:00 am
  • 28 minutes 22 seconds
    Simón Bolívar (Radio Edit)

    Greg Jenner is joined by historian Dr Francisco Eissa-Barroso and comedian Katie Green to learn all about the complicated life and legacy of 19th-Century South American revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar. Bolívar liberated six modern countries from Spanish colonial rule, but also had himself appointed president for life, and argued that popular elections had led to the failure of earlier revolutions. Taking in Bolívar’s political philosophy, scandalous personal relationships, and constant military struggles to liberate and unify South America, this episode explores the life, times, and legend of this complex man.

    This is a radio edit of the original podcast episode. For the full-length version, please look further back in the feed.

    Hosted by: Greg Jenner Research by: Roxy Moore Written by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow, Emma Nagouse and Greg Jenner Produced by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow and Greg Jenner Audio Producer: Steve Hankey Production Coordinator: Caitlin Hobbs Senior Producer: Emma Nagouse

    24 May 2024, 8:40 am
  • 28 minutes 20 seconds
    Madam C.J. Walker (Radio Edit)

    In this episode, Greg Jenner is joined by Professor Noliwe Rooks and comedian Athena Kugblenu to learn all about the life and business savvy of 19th-century Black American haircare entrepreneur Madam C. J. Walker. After working as a sales agent for another haircare brand, Walker founded her own company, selling products to help Black women look after their hair and becoming incredibly wealthy in the process. But how did she make so much money, and what did she spend it on? From impoverished beginnings to a lavish villa in New York, via her charitable and political work, this episode charts Walker's journey to becoming the first self-made woman millionaire in American history.

    This is a radio edit of the original podcast episode. For the full-length version, please look further back in the feed.

    Hosted by: Greg Jenner Research by: Andrew Himmelberg Written by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow, Emma Nagouse and Greg Jenner Produced by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow and Greg Jenner Audio Producer: Steve Hankey Senior Producer: Emma Nagouse

    17 May 2024, 6:00 am
  • 28 minutes 21 seconds
    Pythagoras (Radio Edit)

    In this episode, Greg Jenner is joined by Professor Edith Hall and comedian Desiree Burch to learn about ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras. Pythagoras is famous in maths classes everywhere for his triangle theorem, but surprisingly little is known about his actual life, and his theorem was actually invented by Babylonian mathematicians centuries before he was born! This episode explores the myths and legends that grew up in the ancient world about Pythagoras’s life in the centuries after his death.

    This is a radio edit of the original podcast episode. For the full-length version, please look further back in the feed.

    Research by: Josh Rice Written by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow, Emma Nagouse and Greg Jenner Produced by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow and Greg Jenner Audio Producer: Steve Hankey Senior Producer: Emma Nagouse

    10 May 2024, 6:00 am
  • 28 minutes 9 seconds
    The Bloomsbury Group (Radio Edit)

    Greg Jenner is joined by Dr Jane Goldman and comedian Suzi Ruffell as he travels back a century to1920s London to learn all about the members of the Bloomsbury Group. A collection of intellectuals and artists active in London in the early 20th Century, the Bloomsbury Group included such luminaries as Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, and John Maynard Keynes. From their origins at the University of Cambridge to their bohemian lifestyle in London in the 1910s and 20s, and taking in their political work, artistic output, and boundary-pushing relationships, this episode explores the lives, loves and cultural impact of Bloomsbury Group members.

    This is a radio edit of the original podcast episode. For the full-length version, please look further back in the feed.

    Research by: Madeleine Bracey, Andrew Himmelberg, and Josh Rice Written by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow, Emma Nagouse and Greg Jenner Produced by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow and Greg Jenner Audio Producer: Steve Hankey Senior Producer: Emma Nagouse

    3 May 2024, 6:00 am
  • 28 minutes 33 seconds
    The History of Kung Fu (Radio Edit)

    Greg Jenner is joined by Dr Leon Rocha and comedian Phil Wang to learn all about the surprising history of kung fu, from ancient China to the present day. Rooted in ancient Chinese exercises designed to promote long life, kung fu was pioneered by the monks of the Shaolin temple before spreading throughout China. But how did peaceful Buddhist monks come to create a martial arts style that would gain global popularity? From the mountains of medieval China to the movie screens of Hollywood, via plundering pirates and legendary nuns, this episode explores the historical development of Chinese martial arts.

    This is a radio edit of the original podcast episode. For the full-length version, please look further back in the feed.

    Hosted by: Greg Jenner Research by: Jon Mason Written by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow, Emma Nagouse, and Greg Jenner Produced by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow and Greg Jenner Audio Producer: Steve Hankey Senior Producer: Emma Nagouse

    26 April 2024, 6:00 am
  • 28 minutes 32 seconds
    Catherine the Great (Radio Edit)

    Greg Jenner is joined by Dr Julia Leikin and comedian David Mitchell to learn all about the life of Catherine II of Russia, better known as Catherine the Great. Catherine’s story is full of contradictions and ambiguities. She was a German princess who became empress of all Russia, a ruler who believed in Enlightenment philosophy but championed imperial expansion, and a sexually open woman in the patriarchal eighteenth century. From her childhood in Germany through her marriage to the heir to the Russian throne and eventual coup against his rule, this episode charts the twists and turns of Catherine’s life, and asks what kind of ruler she really was.

    This is a radio edit of the original podcast episode. For the full-length version, please look further back in the feed.

    Hosted by: Greg Jenner Research by: Jon Mason Written by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow, Emma Nagouse, and Greg Jenner Produced by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow and Greg Jenner Audio Producer: Steve Hankey Senior Producer: Emma Nagouse

    19 April 2024, 6:00 am
  • 1 hour 11 minutes
    Mozart

    In this special live episode, with music by the BBC Concert Orchestra and pianist Ben Dawson, Greg Jenner is joined by Dr Hannah Templeton and comedian David O’Doherty in eighteenth-century Europe to learn all about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart is perhaps the most famous composer of all time, known for his operas, concertos, sonatas and symphonies; his talent is undeniable. But who was the man behind the music? This episode explores Mozart’s life story, following him and his family around Europe as he performed, composed and innovated. It takes in his time as a child prodigy with a controlling father, his doomed love affair, and his life as a working musician struggling to find work at court, as well as his incredible musical talent and the success he found in his own lifetime. Research by: Madeleine Bracey Written by: Madeleine Bracey, Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow, Emma Nagouse and Greg Jenner Produced by: Emmie Rose Price-Goodfellow and Greg Jenner Audio Producer: Steve Hankey Production Coordinator: Caitlin Hobbs Senior Producer: Emma Nagouse

    29 March 2024, 7:00 am
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