TV and Radio
The Book Show Royal Special
I was giving my take on representations of the royalty on screen and page, and an illustrious panel, made up of historians Andrew Roberts, Kate Williams and Andrew Marr, along with The Book Show host Mariella Frostrup, went on to discuss these issues in the course of the show.
The grand settings of Blenheim Palace were matched only by the accompanying music: Handel’s magnificent Zadok the Priest.
This year, I have the pleasure to be filming with Time Team for several episodes of Series 20, which will air in 2013. (Here we are, shouting ‘Wassail!’ at an end of day drink on Programme 5; I’m in the front row, wearing a green top between series producer, Tim Taylor, and presenter, Tony Robinson.)
Here, in a couple of little films for the Time Team blog, I talk about Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk, whose Tudor manor house we were digging in Programme 5, and ask for help to date a photograph:
Bloody Tales of the Tower
My series, Bloody Tales of the Tower, with three 60-minute episodes on the gory true histories of the Tower of London, premiered on National Geographic in April 2012. My co-presenter was Joe Crowley, and the production company was True North. Here’s a trailer:
The series was chosen as a pick of the day by The Daily Mail, Radio Times, TV Times and The Sunday Times, and got great ratings. Nat Geo TV also chose ‘Bloody Tales of the Tower’ as one of their viewing highlights for April 2012.
For more information on the series – which I really enjoyed making – do see my blog post all about it.
Sky News Sunrise Paper Review
I regularly review the papers on Sky News Sunrise.
In early April, I reviewed them with Eamonn Holmes, Charlotte Hawkins and Sam Delaney. We talked about the proposed new A levels, the viewing habits of teenage murderer, Daniel Bartlam; Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s shoddy use of history and whether the Queen is a vampire. My agent kindly put a clip on YouTube (forgive the short shrift given to others…):
I’ve had a lot of fun as a co-presenter on five episodes of Secret Lives with Canadian production company Proper TV. My episodes have featured the Secret Lives of Henry VIII, Louis XIV, Elizabeth I, Marie Antoinette and Lucrezia Borgia. The director is Michelle Metivier, with whom I’m pictured top right.
Recently filmed episodes focused on Elizabeth I and her extraordinary makeup (see my blog on this), on the political significance of Marie-Antoinette’s even more astonishing 3-foot hair and on the scandalous antics of the Borgia family.
The 14-part series will air in September 2012 on the History Channel in Canada.
The Great British Weather Show
Chris Hollins and I got together on the replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hinde in London in June 2011 to talk about how the weather scuppered the Spanish Armada’s plans to invade England. It aired on 3 August 2011. If you look carefully, you’ll notice that my left arm is in plaster: I’d just broken my hand (all mended now!)
Lost Routes of Britain
I spent a very enjoyable morning in July chatting with Griff Rhys Jones about Elizabeth I’s progress of 1574 in the back of a Rolls Royce Phantom 5. I later acted as historical consultant for this programme.
The Royal Wedding
On 29 April 2011, I commentated on The Royal Wedding from a historical perspective for CTV. It was a seven-hour live broadcast, and I was on a panel with anchor Lisa LaFlamme, comedian Tracey Ullmann and royal biographer, Christopher Warwick. It was enormous fun. You can see it all online at:
I also did some interviews in the run-up to the big day, which you can also see online…
Interview with ‘On the Tudor Trail’
Museum Secrets, Episode 6: Inside The Met
The Met in New York owns the ‘Wilton Armour’, a suit of armour made for the fat, old Henry VIII. Museum Secrets, produced by Kensington TV in Canada, came to talk to me at the Tower of London about why Henry VIII got so obese. It’s airing as Episode 6, Inside the Met, of their first series on History Channel in January 2011.
Secret Life of Henry VIII
In the cold of November 2010, I filmed for a Canadian show about Henry VIII. It involved learning to joust on a wooden horse and assessing the costume of this young Henry VIII!
Early one morning in June 2010, I went to talk to Emma Crosby and John Stapleton about how history is taught in schools, and how it focuses too much on Hitler and even (sadly) Henry VIII.
The very suave Silio Boccanera came to interview me for a major Brazilian news show in the Great Hall at Hampton Court. I was very impressed that the people of Brazil were interested enough in Henry VIII for a half an hour interview, broadcast in full!
Henry VIII’s Lost Palaces: A Time Team Special, Channel 4
It was a real pleasure to film with the Time Team crew, especially director Brendan Hughes at the gorgeous Loseley Park.
The One Show, BBC One
I met the excellent Dan Snow for an interview at the Tower of London and a live broadcast from Hampton Court Palace, all about Henry VIII and 1536, and about our new visitor experience at Hampton Court.
Henry VIII films for Historic Royal Palaces
When I was at Hampton Court, I commissioned these short films about Henry VIII and life during his reign. I’m interviewed in the short films on Henry VIII and medicine, Henry VIII on film and Henry VIII’s psychology.
The Henry VIII talks at Hampton Court Palace
I organized a series of talks about Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace in association with History Today in 2009, and participated in the first one, ‘Who was Henry VIII?’ along with leading historians and historical novelists John Guy, Eric Ives, Philippa Gregory, Derek Wilson, and Margaret George. It was chaired by Paul Lay, the Editor of History Today.
You can listen to a podcast of the whole debate here.
The Daily Telegraph: ‘Table talk: Dr Suzannah Lipscomb chooses six dream dinner companions from the past’, March 2012
BBC History Magazine: ‘Where History Happened: Tudor Courtiers’, March 2012
History Today: ‘All the King’s Fools’, August 2011
Calliope: ‘Home Sweet Home’, Henry VIII’s palaces, January 2011
Wunderkammer Magazine: ‘How to paint a monarch’, April 2010
Essence Magazine: ‘Henry’s pleasure palace’, July 2009
History Today: ‘Who was Henry VIII and when did it all go wrong?’, April 2009
History Today: ‘Henry VIII at Hampton Court’, with Tom Betteridge, January 2009
Review of Lucy Worsley’s Courtiers, History Today, January 2011