About the Podcast

What Is This Podcast?

The British History Podcast is a chronological telling of the story of Britain. I started in the Ice Age, and I've been steadily moving forward ever since. The focus of this podcast is upon the human drama that is played out in history. Rather than providing a dry recount of dates and names, I am doing my best to provide a three dimensional image of what these people, places, and events were like. The people I'm speaking about were real flesh and blood individuals with dreams, fears, and flaws. And where the information is available, I intend to highlight those aspects for you. You can learn more about my perspective in my interview with Podster Magazine.

Recently the podcast has been featured on iTunes, was a Finalist for Best Educational Podcast by The Podcast Awards, was recommended by the Portland Mercury, Medievalists.net, and The National Trust for Scotland USA. It's also been recommended for fans of Serial and recommended and used as an example by a co-author of Playing With The Past. My Nanna also recommends the podcast, though she's not entirely sure what a podcast is.

Why Start This Project?

Well, a couple of reasons. The first is because far too many people think they hate history, and instead what they hate is the way it was taught to them when they were young. Almost everyone loves stories, and our earliest histories came in the form of stories retold in social settings. The Podcasting environment allows us to reconnect to that ancient tradition of oral histories.

Second, something I'm rather passionate about is the democratization of knowledge. There tend to be a great deal of barriers between information and the people who seek it, often those barriers are economic, social, or geographic. The internet allows us to break through some of those barriers. And since history belongs to all of us, I think it's important that we make this information available.

And finally, this is the best creative outlet I've ever had. I absolutely love doing it!

Here's an interview I had with Medievalists.Net regarding the goals of the show and why I do it.

I also took part in two AMA's ("ask me anything") on Reddit where I answered questions about the show and addressed the challenges of communicating history. You can also listen to the interviews that I did with The History of Philosophy, Interesting Times, and The Life of Caesar, where I answered questions about the show, podcasting, and (of course) history.

About the Host

Well, in terms of degrees I have a Juris Doctorate and a BA in English. Actually, you could say that my entire educational career has been focused upon researching and developing compelling narratives, and I try to use that experience here.

With regard to my accent, because I often get questions on that, I'm an immigrant from the UK living in the US. I went through American schooling and over the course of the years have acquired a West Coast American accent.

As far as personal stuff stuff about me... I love to read, I've been known to engage in geeky past-times (other than podcasting), and I have quite a few little creative side projects. I once worked on, including a board game, but now pretty much all of my effort goes into creating the BHP.

Kerouac, my three-legged cross-eyed toothless cattle dog who you likely heard about in the show, died of cancer in October of 2012. I still miss the hell out of him and always will.

I live in Portland, Oregon. I love IPAs, Thai food, and coffee... so I'm pretty stereotypical in that regard. Though, I refuse to pretend that PBR is good beer, no matter how trendy it is.

About Co-Producer Zee

First off, yes co-producer Zee really does look like Violet from Rat Queens. She kind of acts like her, as well.

Most of the high level decisions made on the direction of the show are the result of discussions between myself and Zee. She also edits the scripts to ensure the narrative and delivery remain tight. Her editing doesn't extend to grammar, however, largely because co-producer Zee wouldn't know what to do with a comma if her life depended on it. Recently, she's been appearing in the Shop Talk series on the Member's Episodes and it's been a ton of fun.

Beyond looking kind of bad ass, and having a stink-eye that can shake you to your core, she also carries degrees in Physical Anthropology and Sociology, and is currently completing a PhD at the LSE. When she isn't editing episodes and deleting puns from the scripts, she works as a Research Analyst for the government. I'm not saying that she's a wiretapping spook working for MI5, but she does go by a single letter.

Just saying.


The theme music is Forward by Northbound, licensed under Creative Commons.

  35 comments for “About the Podcast

  1. A. Digital Traveller
    June 14, 2012 at 7:45 am

    “We also have a 3 legged, cross eyed, cauliflower eared, toothless, triple cancer surviving Cattle Dog named Kerouac.”

    If you claimed that his name was Lucky, ironic though it may be, it would have stretched credibility a tad too much. Assuming your description of him is accurate, perhaps his name ought to be Superstes or perhaps Belífend.

    • June 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Oh he’s absolutely real. He’s actually added a new malady to his list. Now he also has second stage kidney disease. But he’s still rocking it out and is quite happy about life, so I’m just trying to keep him comfortable and maintain his quality of life for as long as I can. :)

  2. Emma
    June 23, 2012 at 4:39 am

    Nice to put a face to the voice. Gillan, your other fan from
    This family says you look like your voice. I agree. Thank you so much for the podcast. Will be joining the membership within the week.
    Cheers
    Emma

    • June 23, 2012 at 7:40 am

      Hehe, that’s good to hear! You know, I had a listener tell me I sounded like a young George Clooney a few months back. I was really tempted to use a photo of him. ;)

      (As a side note: my friends and family were hearing about that George Clooney comment for weeks. Hehe)

  3. nancy g.
    June 23, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Okay, Jamie, you’ve satisfied half our curiosity with a photo of you … now when do we get to see a photo of Kerouac???

    • June 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Ok, uploaded. :)

      • nancy g.
        June 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm

        AWWWWWWW!!

  4. Paul Redeood
    August 6, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Regarding best historic movies … no mention of The Lion In Winter? Wow, my favorite movie ever. Plantagenets … Henry II by O’Tool, Eleanor by Hepburn, Richard I by Hopkins. Amazing dialog. You’ll love it.

  5. November 20, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Hi Jamie. Absolutely loving your show. Came across it through searching for info on Ragnar, as a huge fan of the Vikings TV show (yeah I know you have your beef with it but it’s great entertainment). Been ploughing through the back catalog starting from the very beginning. Also a big fan of The Last a Kingdom on The Beeb so looking forward to cross referencing that period shortly.

    Took me a couple of years to get through The History Of Rome (which I also loved) so it will be a while before I am listening in real time. I too am a Brit living in California, but I came here in my late twenties so I still have my accent intact ???

    Anyhow, as an ex podcast producer myself I have to ask how much time each episode takes to produce each week, and how much post production you do on each episode?

    Anyway. Thanks again for the great work
    Æthelbone The Idle

    • November 21, 2015 at 9:04 am

      I’m glad you found the show, Adam! And it’s totally ok that you like Vikings, as I’m going to mention in an upcoming episode, I like Arrow. So we all have our guilty pleasures. ;)

      The show is a full time job. Research, writing, production, tech support for listeners and members, answering emails, and handling social media all work out to a full time job. But on the upside, I love what I do so I really can’t complain!

  6. steww
    December 31, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Just discovered the show and now desperately trying to catch up! On episode 9 of 186 so I shall be listening pretty much full time for a while. Good company on dark wet do walks so thanks for that.

    • steww
      December 31, 2015 at 1:40 am

      *dog

  7. Catherine
    February 15, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Just started listening and I’m hooked! I appreciate the humorous tone at times, while still sticking to the subject at hand. I lived in The Suffolk part of England with the Air Force (my husband was in, not me) and became obsessed with British history. Don’t know why it took me so long to find the podcast. Still only on episode 5, but anxious to get to more. We actually lived right by West Stow, which is the location of the Anglo Saxon Village which was fascinating. And one of our first explorations of England on my husband’s first spare weekend, we went to Hastings because I had to see where the battle took place. Thanks for the podcast!

  8. Kevin Magde
    April 9, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Greetings Jamie. I’d like to feed back to you that I appreciate the quality product that you’re putting out (I’ll buy a membership soon!). I have a hunger for understanding past, and it unexpectedly turns out that podcasting is filling the void of the limited schooling that we get. There are several podcasts that are absolute gems (yours included), and the common theme is that the authors are spending a lot of time looking at primary and secondary sources. It’s really important to me for the authors to say they’ve looked at the material, stated what it is and summarized the points being made. It’s important to say that we don’t know the answers to things when source material is lacking. Incorporating archeology and linguistic evidence strengthens historical arguments. I have another profession, and don’t have the time research these things. Thank you for sharing what you know and are learning.

  9. Randy
    April 14, 2016 at 4:23 am

    Hello

    I receive the new password and enter it into the system but it keeps telling me that it does not recognize the new password.

    What I am I doing wrong?

    Thanks ever so much

    Randy.

    • April 14, 2016 at 8:13 am

      Hi Randy, I’m going to email you directly and try to sort this out for you.

      • Shawn Smith
        April 14, 2016 at 7:26 pm

        I’m having the same problem.

        • April 14, 2016 at 7:55 pm

          I’m emailing you about this issue right now.

  10. Coley
    April 26, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Jab Abumrad look out, because here’s a guy that can really pick the right music to liven the better meaning out of his topics. Love your music choices, which compliment your topics every podcast. Also comment on the episode where you discuss that you’ve been hit with comments of being a little slow, and just wanted you to know, will take the more detailed speed any old day, than to speed through this stuff and miss something that might end up explaining or related to a whole other part in the history that wouldn’t be as clear, if missed out on something that happened earlier to cause it.

  11. Jackie G
    May 13, 2016 at 3:33 am

    Jamie, I’m loving the podcasts, they are so much more in-depth than any university lecture I’ve taken. I’m only wondering if there’s any way to get a glossary of terms for the podcast? Spelling has never been my strong suit, and I’ve been trying to take some notes, but those romanized names are killing me!

    • May 13, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      The episodes have full transcripts available, which might help you work out the spelling. A while back I did have a list of characters, and I might update it and add it to the site in the future. Honestly, it will depend on whether or not I have time because right now I’m pretty much running to stand still. ;)

      • Jackie G
        May 17, 2016 at 12:05 am

        I’d love it if you had a list of characters on the site! But I guess I can wait a bit for that, I’m only on episode 15 so far.

  12. Sam MacDonald
    May 25, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Hi Jamie.
    just a short note to say im loving your podcast. only into the mid 40’s at the moment. Having been brought up in Bath and Edinburgh i have always been interested in the ancient buildings around me. You definitely bring British history to life.
    skint at the moment but hope to become a member in the very near future. well worth a Pint!

  13. Keith Riley
    May 25, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Hi Jamie, great pod cast.History as never been so interesting. I’ve just got a problem with trying to sign back into the members website. I’ve recently installed a new windows program and every time i try to log in with a new password that i have been sent, it starts the whole process over again as if I’ve been given the wrong password.Please help.

    • May 25, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Hey Keith, I emailed you directly with some login info. Let me know if you run into any other issues. Thanks!

  14. Danae Squires
    June 1, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    Hi Jamie I just became a member. I studied archaeology at uni and worked on a 19th century ship for a while. Evie and I are loving listening to you on our walks. I think it’s fantastic and you remind me of John Julius Norwich and the way he writes about Byzantium. Anyway I don’t know what Evie gossips about with other dogs but I’m sure she’s the most educated about British History in the dog park.
    cheers
    Danae

  15. Kate Schaedler
    June 8, 2016 at 8:52 am

    New listener! Love the podcast and am starting from the very beginning. Just started listening to episode 25 and may have to reconsider my love of it now that I know you’re a Liverpool supporter (big-time Everton fan here!). I’m (slightly) kidding ;)
    Great podcast though!

  16. June 28, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I’ve been listening for a few weeks now- this podcast is usually playing while I’m in the office working, as the radio gets so repetitive sometimes. I’ve really been enjoying the information and details provided, and you are very easy to listen to. I’ve always been a history nerd myself, particularly surrounding the monarchy, but this fresh perspective of the country and early peoples is a delight. I’m only on episode 74 right now, but I manage to plug through a few each day! Keep up the good work!

  17. July 14, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Literally found this podcast this morning. I’m halfway into Episode 2 and already so excited. I made a list of things in the car to Wikipedia once I got in front of a computer. Will there be any focus on the Royals at all throughout the seasons?

    • July 14, 2016 at 9:19 am

      I’m really glad to hear that you’ve found the show! And yes, we cover pretty much everything in the show so there is plenty of royal stuff as well as everything else.

  18. September 4, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    How much does one episode cost to develop and record etc… I am interested in sponsoring one, perhaps the diggers levellers, winstanley or the quakers, keen to know so i can start saving up.

    • September 6, 2016 at 8:13 am

      Actually, we’ve never done a paid sponsored topic before. We want to cover the various religious and cultural subgroups as they pop up, however, so if you want us to cover the levellers the best way to ensure that happens is to support the show so it can stay on air long enough to get to that point. Thanks!

  19. Ben
    September 22, 2016 at 2:07 am

    Brilliant podcast, listen to it every day whilst at work(!). Up to episode 145 now, once I catch up I will be becoming a member :)

    • September 22, 2016 at 5:43 am

      Wonderful! I’m so pleased you’re enjoying the show and please be sure to join us on twitter and elsewhere, it’s a lot of fun!

  20. Terry
    September 27, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Hey Jamie, I’m relieved I’m not the only one to have recently discovered BH Podcast. Truth is I’m a podcast neophyte, but since one of the first I found was yours many others are being harshly judged and I don’t give them much leeway before I pull the plug. At 40 right now and knocking out about 10 a week. I’ll join shortly. Thanks.

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