Greg Jenner and Emma Griffin discuss public history, comedy and popular broadcasting

21 February 2024

On Tuesday 20 February, the Society was delighted to host broadcaster and historian, Greg Jenner, who was in conversation with RHS President Emma Griffin on ‘Finding the Funny in Public History’.

Greg discussed his career, from ‘Horrible Histories’ to You’re Dead to Me and his new book series for children, ‘Totally Chaotic History’, and how different formats — television, podcasts, radio and publishing — shape the ways we communicate about the past. Greg also spoke about his use of comedy to bring history to new audiences, and especially those for whom history was not a popular subject at school. ‘Finding the Funny’ in history offers ways to engage audiences, as well as risks: when is comedy about historical figures and events appropriate and when is it not?

The evening concluded with a Q&A session with our large in-person and online audience, on topics such as writing history for children, new formats for television history, and the positives and negatives of historical debate on social media.

Our warm thanks to Greg for this special RHS event and to all those who attended the evening in person or online. Video and audio recordings of the evening will be available soon.

Details of future Royal Historical Society events, taking place in person across the UK and online, are available here. We look forward to welcoming you to one of these lectures, talks and workshops. You’ll also find recordings of many recent Society activities in our Events Archive.