History TV & Radio on demand

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Catch up on, or re-watch, some of the top history programmes now available on BBC iPlayer and other catch-up services. From historical dramas to documentaries, we’ll take you straight to some of your favourite history programmes

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Available to watch now   

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Who Were the Greeks?

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Dr Michael Scott examines the legacy of the Ancient Greeks while touring the Mediterranean country. He looks at why so many aspects of their civilization continue to fascinate so many people around the world.
Available until 18 July 2013 on BBC iPlayer

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Elizabeth – Queen, Wife, Mother

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Alan Titchmarsh takes a look at the life of Elizabeth II, with contributions from those closest to her, including the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of York and the Princess Royal.
Available until 19 July on ITV Player

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A History of Scotland

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Scotland began flexing its economic and political muscles on the world stage in the latter half 18th century. Neil Oliver examines this lucrative time for the country in a series documenting Scotland’s history – from pre-Roman times to the present day.
Available until 20 July 2013 on BBC iPlayer

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Grand Prix: The Killer Years

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This hour-long documentary examines the carnage often caused by unsafe and unregulated Formula One racing in the 1960s and 70s. With accounts from drivers and others close to the action, it explains how those behind the wheel brought about changes to the engineering of the cars, as well as to the culture of the sport.
Available until 21 July 2013 on BBC iPlayer

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London: A Tale of Two Cities with Dan Cruickshank

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Events during the 17th century could well of permanently ruined London. A Civil War, a Great Fire and a devastating plague within a few decades of each other pushed the relatively small medieval city to the brink of disaster. Dan Cruickshank explores how London not only recovered, but advanced to become one of the world’s most prominent cities in a remarkably short space of time.
Available until 21 July 2013 on BBC iPlayer

Gladiators: Back from the Dead
Drawing on sensational new archaeological discoveries, this programme recreates the world of the Roman arena through the lives and violent deaths of six British gladiators
Available on Channel 4OD

The Celts
Richard Rudgley explores the history and myth of the Celts, the first masters of Iron Age Europe. Sidelined by the Romans, their influence still lives on.
Available on Channel 4OD
 

The Ancient World with Bettany Hughes
Bettany Hughes’ definitive history of the ancient world and classical civilisation.
Five episodes available on Channel 4OD

Civilization: Is the West History?
Niall Ferguson asks why it was that Western civilization came to dominate the rest of the world.
Six episodes available on Channel 4OD

Leonardo’s Machines
Experts assess designs by Leonardo da Vinci to determine how far ahead of his time he was in flight.
Two episodes available on Channel 4OD

The Worst Jobs in History
Tony Robinson takes a look at some of history’s worst occupations, including food tasters, whipping boy and water caddy.
Six episodes available on Channel 4OD
 

Apocolypse: The Second World War
This six-part series telling the epic story of th Second World War through the personal testimony of those who were there.
Six episodes available on Channel 4OD

The Long View
Jonathan Freedland presents the programme which looks at the past behind the present. He compares the London 2012 Games with the first time the city hosted the Olympics, in 1908.
Available indefinitely on BBC iPlayer (radio)

Evita’s Odyssey
Linda Pressly tells the stranger-than-fiction tale of what happened to Eva Peron’s embalmed corpse in the two decades after her husband Juan Peron was deposed in 1955.
Available indefinitely on BBC iPlayer (radio)

Unbuilt Britain
Primrose Hill in London is today a much-loved park, but Jonathan Glancey discovers 19th-century plans to build a giant pyramid there, a place of burial for millions of corpses.
Available indefinitely on BBC iPlayer (radio)
 

Words and Music 
A sequence of poetry, prose and music celebrating the Victorian era, with readings by Rory Kinnear.
Available indefinitely on BBC iPlayer (radio)

Through Persian Eyes 
A programme exploring the often fraught historical journey of Iran.
Available indefinitely on BBC iPlayer (radio)
 

Sunday Feature – The Heritage Wars
Historian Dr Anna Whitelock explores the UK’s love affair with its past and examines how the heritage industry is battling for our money, becoming more of an entertainment.
Available indefinitely on BBC iPlayer (radio)

In Our Time – Voltaire’s Candide
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Voltaire’s novel Candide, first published in 1759.
Available indefinitely on BBC iPlayer (radio)
 

In the Highest Tradition
First transmitted in 1989, this is the final part of a six part series which delves into the world of the British Army’s Regimental traditions and the stories behind them.
Available indefinitely on BBC iPlayer

Sunday Feature – Europe: The Art of Austerity
Michael Goldfarb looks back to the Europe of the 1930s and asks how artists, writers and film-makers responded to the poverty, mass unemployment and poltical instability of the Great Depression.
Available indefinitely on BBC iPlayer (radio)

Hurricane Rash
Dr Kevin Fong looks at the history of modern plastic surgery, born not out of vanity, but developed to combat the terrible burns suffered by fighter pilots during the Second World War.
Available indefinitely on BBC iPlayer (radio)
 

Making History
Helen Castor presents Radio 4’s popular history programme in which listener’s questions and research help offer new insights into the past. This week, the origins of May Day.
Available indefinitely on BBC iPlayer (radio)

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Shakespeare’s Restless World: Shakespeare Goes Global
The last in the series of Neil MacGregor’s object-based history.
Available indefinitely on BBC iPlayer (radio)