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Published: July 17, 2013 at 10:00 am
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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


Available to watch now

Who Were the Greeks?

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

Elizabeth – Queen, Wife, Mother

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

A History of Scotland

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

Grand Prix: The Killer Years

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

London: A Tale of Two Cities with Dan Cruickshank

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

When Albums Ruled the World

In the 1960s and 70s, the newly invented LP propelled the music industry to never before seen heights. The program examines this ‘Golden Age’ of the album, but also plots its demise with the advent of newer formats and technologies. Featuring contributions from the likes of Roger Taylor, Grace Slick, Slash and Noel Gallagher.
Available until 22 July 2013 on BBC iPlayer

China in Six Easy Pieces

Ceramics expert Lars Tharp journeys examines hundreds of years of Chinese history through six pieces of porcelain. He goes from the ancient capital of Huangzhou to Beijing’s Forbidden City, revealing just how much these six pieces reveal about Chinese political, social and economic history.
Available until 23 July 203 on BBC iPlayer

Rome: A History of the Eternal City

Simon Sebag Montefiore takes a look at Rome’s more modern history, charting the rise from its 14th-century struggles to the present day as the undisputed home of the Papacy. He examines the city’s most impressive architecture first hand, walking viewers through how all the city’s magnificence came to be.
Available until 23 July on BBC iPlayer

Nelson's Caribbean Hell-hole: An Eighteenth-Century Navy Graveyard Uncovered

Mass graves of British sailors in Antigua inspire historian Sam Willis to find out what life would have been like for those who journeyed to the Caribbean in the time of Nelson. His findings reveal existences fraught with more difficulties and dangers than previously thought.
Available until 24 July on BBC iPlayer

Robson Green – How the North was Built

Robson Green journeys across the North of England, documenting its industrial history and examining how at its peak, it managed to produce enough resources to power much of the known world.
Available until 14 August on ITV Player

Walking through History

Tony Robinson hikes through some of Britain’s most beautiful and historically poignant landscapes, discussing the past of the places he passes through.
Four episodes available on 4OD

Spying on Hitler’s Army: Secret Recordings

This docudrama tells the story of how British Intelligence secretly listened in to the conversations of German prisoners of war, and the invaluable information they discovered as a result. Actors use the original transcripts to accurately portray events that ultimately helped bring about the end of the war.
Available on 4OD

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)


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)


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