The special episodes will be released daily from Monday 13 August to Friday 17 August.
The first podcast of the week, on Monday 13 August, featured historian, author and broadcaster Helen Castor discussing the psychology of Elizabeth I. Then on Tuesday 14 August the 500th episode sees Ian Kershaw – the world’s leading biographer of Adolf Hitler – in conversation about the history of modern Europe. On Wednesday 15 August the historian and author Tracy Borman will be describing her foray into historical fiction. Thursday 16 August will see an interview with the renowned classicist, author and broadcaster Mary Beard about her life and career. Finally, on Friday 17 August, the medieval historian and author Dan Jones will be revealing the secrets of bringing history to the masses.
Rob Attar, Editor of BBC History Magazine, says: “When we trialled our first episode more than 11 years ago, we had little idea that we would one day be producing more than 100 programmes a year that would be heard many millions of times all across the world. The podcast’s success shows what a huge appetite there is for popular history and that this medium is a brilliant way to deliver it.”
Produced by the editorial team behind BBC History Magazine and historyextra.com, History Extra was first launched in 2007 as a monthly podcast. As its popularity has increased, History Extra now comes out twice a week on Monday and Thursday and gains 1.1 million listens a month and over 13 million a year, say the publishers.
History Extra features interviews with historians, authors and broadcasters on a range of historical topics, from Ancient Egypt, the Vikings and Medieval history, to the Industrial Revolution, the World Wars and even the events of the 21st century.
Previous guests on the podcast have included historians such as Mary Beard, David Starkey, Simon Schama, Dan Snow, David Olusoga and Lucy Worsley, as well as broadcasters David Attenborough, Michael Palin and Jenni Murray. The most popular ever episode was a conversation between historians Dan Jones and Helen Castor about Dan’s book on the year 1215, which has been listened to more than 210,000 times.