Dan Snow on his new history tour and his love of the past

Virgin Radio

12 Feb 2021, 11:29

The historian and television presenter joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky today to talk about his upcoming tour and why history was never that interesting at school - but is now.

He told Sam Pinkham who was standing in for Chris: "I've got lots of friends who discover history as they get a little bit older and I always think about why that is. I think it's because as we get older we realise that our own lives are so shaped by decisions we made in the past... whether it's health decisions, whether it's the amount of food we ate in our 20s and our waistlines. “When you're 20 you think the past doesn't matter because you're in the present and the future because everything's just awesome and I think now we're going 'I get it, I get it. That decision to go to university and do that subject has now radically affected my life as it is today'.

"So therefore you're interested in what happened 100 years ago, 200 years ago and 300 years ago because you can see in your own life the impact of that."

Where did his love of history come from? He said: "I got into history very young but that's because I come from a history mad family... and I was brutalised and every single weekend there was no choice, you just got in a car and you drove up the motorway and you broke down a bit and then you went to a battlefield or a museum or a National Trust property.

"Then I didn't really enjoy it very much but then I got Stockholm Syndrome and now inflict it on my kids so that's how it all works.

“To be honest, it's a good thing to do as a family. We're blessed in the UK - historical sites are second to none. You go there, there's things to dress up as, it whiles away the time, kills a few units of the weekend. I love it and I miss it so much actually at the moment, I miss going out to those places and having a little poke around some historic sites."

On his tour later in the year, he said: “It's like a live recording of the podcast. We get a wonderful historian everyone's heard of within the history world in each city we go to.

"Then we also get a brilliant historian who knows all about that city and we have a bit of a session to work out why the city is the way that it is and where it came from and the wonderful stories about that city from enduring ghost stories to the actual truth about how that city came to be."