The Blue Plaque Pod

The Blue Plaque Pod

Encounters with the people of the past in the places of the present. A history podcast about people and the places where they lived, loved, worked and died. Delivered in punchy and illuminating 30-minute episodes, hosted by the bestselling author Kassia St Clair.

Episodes

May 7, 2024 32 mins

Our final guest for season 1 is Ian Dunt, a British political journalist. He hosts Origin Story with Dorian Lynskey and is the author of “How to be a Liberal”, “Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now?” and “How Westminster Works…And Why it Doesn’t”.

 

The plaque he chose is at 18 Kensington Square, South Kensington and reads: John Stuart Mill, 1806-1873, philosopher, lived here. We spoke about Mill's difficult childhood; why his ideas o...

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Irenosen Okojie is the Nigerian-British author of Butterfly Fish and the short story collections, Speak Gigantular and Nudibranch. She co-presented the BBC's Turn Up for The Books podcast, she’s vice chair of the Royal Society of Literature and was a judge for the 2023 Women's Prize for Fiction.

 

The plaque she chose is on Lands Lane in Leeds and reads: "Pablo Fanque. Born William Darby, he was the first Black circus owner in Brit...

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April 23, 2024 32 mins

Andrew Cotter has been working as a sports broadcaster - primarily for the BBC - for over 20 years. He is also known for his two very good dogs, Olive and Mabel, whose antics he filmed and commentated on during the Covid 19 pandemic.

 

The plaque he chose is at 82 Waldegrave Road in Teddington and reads: Edward Whymper 1840-1911, mountaineer, lived here 1907-1911. Whymper was the first person to scale the Matterhorn, a feat he achi...

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Kit Kemp is an interior designer, the founder and creative director of Kit Kemp Design Studio and Firmdale Hotels. She’s known for championing British art and craft and for her colourful, eclectic and much-imitated style.

 

The plaque she has chosen is at 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury and reads: "Vanessa Bell 1879-1961 Duncan Grant 1885-1978 artists lived and worked here". They were artists, but they were also linchpins of the group...

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Albert Muzquiz, aka @edgyalbert, is a content creator, stylist, and fashion historian who produces popular and educational vintage clothing and style content on TikTok, Instagram and Youtube. 

 

The plaque he has chosen is at 4 Chesterfield Street, Mayfair, London and reads: "Beau Brummell, 1778-1840, Leader of Fashion lived here". We spoke about Brummell's turbulent relationship with the Prince of Wales, his habit of insulting his...

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April 2, 2024 25 mins

Val McDermid is an award-winning Scottish novelist who has sold over 19 million books. She's the author of the 'Wire in the Blood' and 'Traces' series and 'Past Lying'. She's also the lead singer of the Fun Lovin' Crime Writers.

 

The plaque she's chosen is on Castle Street in Inverness and reads: "Site of MacKintosh fruit shop, family business of writer Josephine Tey (Elizabeth MacKintosh) 1896-1952, author of The Daughter of Time...

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Levison Wood is a professional explorer, writer and photographer who has walked the length of the Nile and circumnavigated the Arabian Peninsula.  Levison spent time in the armed forces and served in Afghanistan. His latest book Escape from Kabul: The Inside Story was released in March 2023.

 

The blue plaque he chose is at 2 Westwood Hill, London SE26 6QR  and reads: Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) Antarctic Explorer lived here...

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Celia Richardson is the Director of Communications for the National Trust. For the past six years, she’s been responsible for the Trust’s brand and marketing, policy, advocacy and reputation. Previously, she’s worked for the Historic England, the Refugee Council and several mental health charities.

 

The blue plaque she chose is at 2 Garbutt Place, Marylebone, London W1U 4DS. It reads: Octavia Hill, 1838-1912, Housing Reformer, Co-...

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March 26, 2024 25 mins

Matt Cain is a writer, broadcaster, commentator on LGBTQ+ issues and an ambassador for Manchester Pride. He’s the author of The Madonna of Bolton, The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle, Becoming Ted and One Love.

 

The blue plaque he chose is at 2 Warrington Crescent, Maida Vale, London W9 1ER. It reads: Alan Turing, 1912-1954, Code-breaker and Pioneer of Computer Science was born here. We spoke about Turing's life and career, and wh...

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March 5, 2024 1 min

Have you ever looked up at a blue plaque in London or elsewhere and wanted to know more about the person being commemorated?

The Blue Plaque Pod is a new history podcast from best-selling author Kassia St. Clair. In each episode a notable guest will select a plaque that intrigues them. We'll talk about why they chose it and what it means to them, and discuss the life, times and career of the person, people, animal or thing commemor...

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