This week the HistoryExtra Podcast celebrates its 15th anniversary and over 150 million downloads. Launched in 2007, as an offshoot of BBC History Magazine, the podcast, which releases six episodes a week, now has a global following, achieving over five million downloads a month. The top five countries for downloads are the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and China, with the most downloaded episode of all time being ‘A Year in Medieval England’, with almost 300k downloads, says the publisher.
As part of the 15th anniversary celebrations, the HistoryExtra Podcast is launching a special series asking 15 historians to nominate a person from the past who they believe deserves their 15 minutes of fame. At the end of the series, public historian Helen Carr will host a panel discussion to explore who gets remembered by history, why this is, and how we can illuminate forgotten stories today.
Dr Dave Musgrove, content director, History, at Immediate Media, said: “Reaching the HistoryExtra podcast’s 15th anniversary and 150 million downloads in the same year is a phenomenal achievement. The idea came to me in 2007 when I realised that the fascinating range of historians I interviewed for BBC History magazine were naturally-gifted story-tellers that audiences would love to hear first-hand.
“To have achieved a loyal and passionate world-wide following is testament to the hard work from a dedicated team. We are marking the anniversary with a new ‘15 minutes of fame’ series, where we’ve asked 15 leading historians to each nominate a figure from the past who deserves their moment in the limelight.”
Planned episodes include:
- Suzannah Lipscomb on Marguerite de Navarre, 16th-century author and queen
- Marc Morris on St Wilfrid, early medieval saint and church reformer
- Hakim Adi on Alice Kinlock, Pan-Africanism activist
- Jerry Brotton on Marie Tharp, ground-breaking cartographer
- Fern Riddell on Charley Wilson, 19th-century trans man
- Joyce Tyldesley on Queen Tiy, overshadowed ancient Egyptian royal
- Tom Holland on Franz Nopsca, Hungarian aristocrat, adventurer and palaeontologist
- Caroline Dodds Pennock on Malintzin, interpreter and consort to conquistadors
- Janina Ramirez on Hildegard of Bingen, Benedictine abbess, composer and mystic
- Michael Wood on St Hadrian of Canterbury, African abbot and early medieval saint
- Rana Mitter on Tsiang Ting-fu, Chinese historian and diplomat
- Hannah Cusworth on Aina Forbes Bonetta, West African ward to Queen Victoria
- Margaret MacMillan on Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire
- Hannah Greig on Hannah Humphrey, 18th-century printmaker and print seller
- Michael Scott on Kleisthenes, supposed founder of Athenian democracy