Greg Who?!

Photo of Greg Jenner smiling. He has curly brown hair, a short beard, and wears a maroon t-shirt under a blue knitted cardigan


Greg Jenner FRHistS is a British public historian, author and broadcaster with a particular interest in communicating history through humour. He is the host and creator of the chart-topping comedy BBC podcast You’re Dead To Me (nearly 100 million downloads and plays), and the author of several history books for adults and children, including the number 1 bestseller Totally Chaotic History: Ancient Egypt Gets Unruly

From 2008 – 2019, he was the Historical Consultant to nine series of CBBC’s Emmy & multiple BAFTA award-winning TV comedy series Horrible Histories, being solely responsible for the factual accuracy of over 2,000 sketches and 150+ comedy songs. He also was a key member of the team on the BAFTA-nominated film Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans. He also was the consultant to Corpse Talk, a funny YouTube Kids animated series based on Adam and Lisa Murphy’s comic book series – the series got over 1 million views in its first week and was nominated for Best Children’s Show at the Royal Television Society Awards 2023.

Greg’s books for adults are Ask A Historian: 50 Surprising Answers to Things You Always Wanted to Know (2021), which topped the Audible History charts and is being translated into 6 languages. Greg previously published the critically admired Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity, From Bronze Age To Silver Screen (2020), and the bestselling A Million Years In A Day: A Curious History of Ordinary Life, From Stone Age To Phone Age (2015), which was an audiobook number 1 bestseller and has been translated into 12 languages around the world.

Greg’s children’s books include You Are History, a colourful and funny illustrated book about the global history of 50 objects children use every day, and in 2024 he is launching a brand new non-fiction series called Totally Chaotic History co-written with experts. The first book, Ancient Egypt gets Unruly (co-written with Dr Campbell Price), was released in April and instantly became the number 1 bestselling book on Amazon. It will be followed by Roman Britain (co-written with Dr Emma Southon) in the autumn, followed by books on  the Stone Age and the Ancient Greeks in 2025.

His previous audio hosting work includes presenting BBC Radio 4’s Past Forward: A Century of Sound, the BBC’s award-nominated children’s podcast Homeschool History, and the Audible series A Somewhat Complete History of Sitting Down.

Greg is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an  Honorary Research Associate at Royal Holloway, University of London, and does some occasional teaching at the University of York


In Autumn 2019, Greg’s new BBC podcast series ‘You’re Dead To Me‘ launched at number 1 in the Apple Podcast Charts. It’s an educational comedy podcast featuring top comedians and top historians discussing key historical subjects and biographies from global history, aimed at an audience who didn’t love history at school. It has since had nearly 100 million downloads and plays, and won three podcast and radio awards.

In 2022, Greg presented BBC Radio 4’s Past Forward: A Century of Sound, a 20-part series of 15 minute programmes exploring randomly-chosen clips from 100 years of the BBC’s archives, and using them as a springboard to hold conversations with fascinating interviewees

His Audible podcast series A Somewhat Complete History of Sitting Down (about the surprisingly fascinating history of how we sit) launched to critical praise in 2021

In response to the Covid 19 pandemic, Greg and his podcast team also produced BBC Homeschool History, two series of short, funny, informative radio lessons for children. It launched on BBC Radio 4 in April 2020 and won the Silver Medal for Best Radio Podcast at the British Podcast Awards 2021.

In the summer of 2019, Greg was the resident historian on BBC Radio 4’s The Origin of Stuff, a science and history programme about the evolution and design of everyday objects.

In 2019, Greg wrote and presented Hilarious Histories: What’s So Funny About The Past?  It was a 3-hour long documentary for BBC Radio 4 Extra about how comedy writers have used the past for material. It features interviews with people such as Stephen Fry and lots of lovely archive clips.

In 2018, Greg was a guest on BBC Radio’s Great Lives (talking about Gene Kelly)

In June 2015 Greg guested on BBC Radio 4’s Museum of Curiosity, appearing on the panel with the veteran comedian Ken Dodd and the mathematician Dr Hannah Fry. This episode won Best Radio Talk Show at the European Rose D’Or Awards 2016. Greg has appeared several times on the No Such Thing As A Fish podcast, and Helen Zaltzman’s language podcast The Allusionist


Greg first graduated to TV appearances as a panellist on BBC Two’s The Great History Quiz, alongside team captains Lucy Worsley and Dan Snow, and then as co-presenter on both series of Inside Versailles, the accompanying discussion show for the lavish BBC drama series Versailles about Louis XIV.

In 2021, Greg appeared in two Channel 5 documentaries about the 19th century: Our Victorian Christmas & Victorian Britain On Film

Greg laughs while talking to Stephen FryGreg and Professor Kate Williams pose in front of a painting for the BBC TV programme Inside Versailles


Greg was the Historical Consultant to the multi-award-winning BBC TV series Horrible Histories for 11 years, and the script adviser on the BAFTA-nominated film Horrible Histories Movie: Rotten Romans (2019). He also consulted on the scripts for the YouTube Kids animated comedy series  Corpse Talk. Previously, he had been an adviser on Channel 4’s 1066 : The Battle For Middle Earth (2008).


Having dabbled in comedy at university, before then becoming part of the sketch and song writing team on Horrible Histories, Greg is known for taking a humorous approach to public speaking. He made his solo stage debut at the Hackney Empire for Arts Emergency charity in 2013, has five times guested on the award-winning QI podcast No Such Thing As A Fish, twice been a guest on Richard Herring’s comedy interview podcast RHLSTP, and once on Do The Right Thing podcast.  He regularly gives funny public talks, and has spoken to crowds of over 1,000 people on several occasions, such as at Hay Festival 2015.


Greg is both a passionate defender and careful critic of the way in which the past is exploited by our society for entertainment. He teaches a Public History MA seminar at both the University of York and Royal Holloway, University of London (where he is an Honorary Research Associate), and has also lectured in other universities on the philosophical and pragmatic problems of how historical television is made and consumed. He is a historian interested in both history itself and how history is used in modern society.


As a freelance writer, he contributed three songs and lots of sketches to Horrible Histories, and he’s also scribbled lots of articles full of fun history trivia for BBC History Magazine, History Revealed Magazine, Britain Magazine, The Radio Times, and The Huffington Post.

You can also read his blog.


After studying at the University of York between 2001-5, Greg ran out of money and abandoned his plans for a PhD in Medieval Literature. Before becoming a public historian, Greg worked in the TV industry as an Assistant Producer on historical documentaries, dramas, and digital interactive projects for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Discovery USA, History USA. More recently, he co-scripted the TIME EXPLORERS digital app for Historic Royal Palaces’ schools educational programme available at Hampton Court Palace.

An image from the filming of Horrible Histories. Greg dances in chainmail armour next to the actor Simon Farnaby (who is dressed in blue as William the Conqueror)