You're Dead to Me

You're Dead to Me

The comedy podcast that takes history seriously. Greg Jenner brings together the best names in comedy and history to learn and laugh about the past.

Episodes

February 23, 2024 54 mins

In this episode, Greg Jenner is joined by Dr Jillian Stinchcomb and comedian Sadia Azmat to learn all about the legendary Queen of Sheba. From her first appearance in the Hebrew Bible, the Queen of Sheba has fascinated Jewish, Muslim and Christian writers. But do we know anything about her as a historical figure? And how has her story been told, used and reinterpreted throughout history? This episode traces the legends written abou...

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In this episode, Greg Jenner is joined by Professor Sunny Singh and broadcaster Poppy Jay to learn all about the history of Indian cinema, colloquially known as Bollywood. Filmmaking technology arrived in India in 1896, only six months after the Lumiere brothers debuted their invention in Paris. Nowadays, over 700 films are released in India every year, and it is the most popular cinema in the world, reaching over a billion more vi...

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February 9, 2024 56 mins

In this episode, Greg Jenner is joined by historian Dr Francisco Eissa-Barroso and comedian Katie Green to learn all about the complicated life and legacy of nineteenth-century South American revolutionary leader Simón Bolívar. Bolívar liberated six modern countries from Spanish colonial rule, but also had himself appointed president for life, and argued that popular elections had led to the failure of earlier revolutions. Taking i...

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February 2, 2024 57 mins

In this episode, Greg Jenner is joined by Professor Noliwe Rooks and comedian Athena Kugblenu to learn all about the life and business savvy of nineteenth-century Black American haircare entrepreneur Madam C. J. Walker. After working as a sales agent for another haircare brand, Walker founded her own company, selling products to help Black women look after their hair and becoming incredibly wealthy in the process. But how did she m...

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January 26, 2024 57 mins

In this episode, Greg Jenner is joined by Professor Edith Hall and comedian Desiree Burch to learn all about ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras. Pythagoras is famous in maths classes everywhere for his triangle theorem, but surprisingly little is known about his actual life, and his theorem was actually invented by Babylonian mathematicians centuries before he was born! Taking in his beliefs about reincarnation,...

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January 19, 2024 61 mins

For the 100th episode, Greg Jenner is joined by Dr Jane Goldman and comedian Suzi Ruffell as he travels back a century to1920s London to learn all about the members of the Bloomsbury Group. A collection of intellectuals and artists active in London in the early twentieth century, the Bloomsbury Group included such luminaries as Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, and John Maynard Keynes. From their origins at the University of Cambridge...

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January 12, 2024 56 mins

In this episode, Greg Jenner is joined by Dr Leon Rocha and comedian Phil Wang to learn all about the surprising history of kung fu, from ancient China to the present day. Rooted in ancient Chinese exercises designed to promote long life, kung fu was pioneered by the monks of the Shaolin temple before spreading throughout China. But how did peaceful Buddhist monks come to create a martial arts style that would gain global popularit...

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January 5, 2024 57 mins

In the first episode of a new series, Greg Jenner is joined by Dr Julia Leikin and comedian David Mitchell to learn all about the life of Catherine II of Russia, better known as Catherine the Great. Catherine’s story is full of contradictions and ambiguities. She was a German princess who became empress of all Russia, a ruler who believed in Enlightenment philosophy but championed imperial expansion, and a sexually open woman in th...

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December 15, 2023 28 mins

Greg Jenner is joined by Dr Emily Bell and Mike Wozniak to find out what Christmas was like with Charles Dickens.

We take a walk through the many Christmases of the renowned Victorian author. From elephants walking on ice to the family Christmas punch recipe, we take a closer look at the factors that may have influenced some of his most famous works and unpick what the phrase Dickensian has come to mean over the years.

Written by Emm...

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November 10, 2023 28 mins

In this episode, recorded live at the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot, Greg Jenner is joined by Professor Farah Karim-Cooper and comedian Richard Herring to learn all about the life, legend and legacy of William Shakespeare himself. 2023 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays, which preserved his work for future generations. But how did a boy from the Midlands become the most...

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November 3, 2023 69 mins

In this episode, recorded live at the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot, Greg Jenner is joined by Professor Farah Karim-Cooper and comedian Richard Herring to learn all about the life, legend and legacy of William Shakespeare himself. 2023 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays, which preserved his work for future generations. But how did a boy from the Midlands become the most...

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October 27, 2023 57 mins

Greg Jenner is joined by Dr Michael Carter and actor Mathew Baynton to learn all about ghost stories in the European Middle Ages. From the twelfth century onwards, medieval Europe produced a huge number of ghost stories, often written in monasteries. But why were monks so interested in ghosts? How were ghost stories related to wider Christian beliefs about death and the afterlife? And what happened to these beliefs with the arrival...

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September 30, 2023 28 mins

Greg Jenner is joined by Dr Vanessa Heggie and comedian Darren Harriott to learn about the bodybuilding boom of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The latter part of the 19th century saw the beginning of a fitness craze where the seeds of the modern-day gym and fitness culture were sown. But physical fitness also tapped into other parts of the psyche of British society at the time. From concerns over the fighting fitness of the British ar...

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September 23, 2023 28 mins

Greg Jenner and his guests discuss the life, times and crimes of Russia's first tsar, the infamous Ivan the Terrible.

Joining Greg are Prof Peter Frankopan from the University of Oxford and Russian-born comedian Olga Koch, whose BBC appearances include OK Computer, Human Error, Fight, QI and The Now Show.

For the full-length version of this episode, please look further back in the feed.

A production by The Athletic for BBC Radio 4.

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September 16, 2023 28 mins

Greg Jenner is joined by historian Dr Emma Southon and comedian Cariad Lloyd in first-century Rome to meet Agrippina the Younger.

Empress, overbearing mother of the Emperor Nero and murderess, but how much of what has been written about this extraordinary woman is true? What does it really take to survive as a woman at the top of the Roman Empire?

For the full-length version of this episode, please look further back in the feed.

A Mud...

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September 9, 2023 28 mins

Greg Jenner is joined by historian Prof Benjamin Reiss and comedian Desiree Burch in 19th-century America to meet the self-proclaimed showman, P.T. Barnum. He was a man famous for his museums and shows as well as "curiosities" such as General Tom Thumb, Bearded Ladies and The Fiji Mermaid. But look beyond Barnum’s infamous spin and you’ll find that contrary to his pop culture image this showman was far from the greatest.

For the ful...

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September 2, 2023 28 mins

Greg Jenner is joined by special guests Kemah Bob and Dr Campbell Price as they head back to Ancient Egypt to meet the unique and powerful ruler, Hatshepsut. She reigned for over 20 years, built a temple which is still admired today, had a ‘special’ relationship with statues and was one of the first rulers to focus on divinity rather than gender norms. So why did history try to erase her?

For the full-length version of this episode,...

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August 26, 2023 57 mins

In this special, live episode of You’re Dead To Me, Greg Jenner is joined by Prof Catherine Fletcher and comedian Dara Ó Briain to learn about Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo lived from 1452 to 1519 during an era of plague and warfare across Western Europe. It was also the height of the Italian Renaissance.

From mathematics to military maps, and some paintings which you may have heard of, Leonardo da Vinci did it all. But was he a genera...

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August 19, 2023 28 mins

Greg Jenner is joined by Dr Stephen Kershaw and comedian Sophie Duker to dive into the myth of Atlantis.

The Atlantean story has its origins in the writings of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. And literally nowhere else. Yet the enduring appeal of this mythical city and a sophisticated civilisation lost beneath the waves has lasted for thousands of years. It has inspired a huge number of stories and some very ropey documentaries...

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August 12, 2023 28 mins

Greg Jenner and his guests look at a range of scientific discoveries spanning 1000 years of history, widely known as the medieval period. How were knowledge and scientific findings shared across a world with its countless languages and regions before the internet?

Greg is joined by Dr Seb Falk and comedian Josie Long to look at some of the weird and wonderful advancements of the period which we still use today.

For the full-length ve...

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