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History extra podcast 1

The HistoryExtra podcast celebrates 200 million downloads

Published: 20 Jan 2023

The phenomenally successful HistoryExtra podcast celebrated 200million downloads as December 2022 drew to a close. Launched in 2007, as an offshoot of BBC History Magazine, the History Extra podcast, owned by Immediate Media Co, now has a huge global following, achieving over five million downloads a month.

The HistoryExtra podcast, launched in June 2007 as an offshoot of BBC History magazine and has grown to release six episodes a week, and currently achieves over five million downloads a month. The top four countries for downloads are US, UK, Canada and Australia. The most downloaded episode of all time is A Year in Medieval England, with almost 300k downloads. Over 1,000 episodes are interviews with book authors.

Dr Dave Musgrove, Content Director, History, at Immediate Media, said:
“Reaching 200 million downloads for the HistoryExtra podcast is something I could have only dreamt of when I clicked the record button on my 2007 interview with eminent historian Sir Ian Kershaw about the rise of Nazi Germany. I had an inkling that audiences passionate about history would embrace the chance to hear such gifted story tellers first hand, but I had no idea that moment would lead to 200million downloads world-wide 15 years later.

“To have achieved a loyal and passionate global following is testament to the hard work from a dedicated team that continues to grow and innovate to bring the best story-telling and historical insight to our audiences.

“Our latest series, Conspiracy, explores historical conspiracy theories - why they arise and persist, plus a weighing up of evidence from expert historians covering everything from who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays to were the moon landings faked.”

The six episodes of the HistoryExtra podcast series Conspiracy feature:

1. Hitler’s escape to South America
In the first episode of our new series on some of history’s most well-known conspiracy theories, we explore the idea that Hitler outlasted the downfall of the Third Reich in 1945 and began a new life overseas in South America. Historian Professor Richard J Evans explains the origins of this theory and reveals why it continues to have adherents today.

2. Did aliens build the pyramids?
Egyptologist Joyce Tyldesley explores the origins of the theory that Ancient Egypt’s iconic monuments were built with extra-terrestrial assistance and explains what we know about how the pyramids really were constructed.

3. Did Anastasia escape her family’s murder?
Did one of Tsar Nicholas II’s daughters – Anastasia – survive the family’s murder by the Bolsheviks in 1918? Historian Helen Rappaport explains why people believe that Anastasia escaped and what recent scientific and archaeological research has revealed about this tragic episode.

4. Who wrote Shakespeare?
Exploring why many people don’t believe that William Shakespeare was the real author of the plays attributed to him, Shakespeare expert Dr Paul Edmondson discusses the alternative candidates that have been put forward and considers whether this is a legitimate debate.

5. Was the moon landing faked?
This episode revisits one of the most iconic moments of the 20th century: when man first walked on the moon. Space historian Francis French explains why many people choose to doubt the events of July 1969 and considers how this conspiracy theory grew out of the paranoia of the Cold War era.

6. The lost civilisation of Atlantis
In the final episode of Conspiracy, the HistoryExtra podcast investigates the idea that a highly advanced civilisation existed many thousands of years ago, before being wiped out by a calamitous event. Rob Attar speaks to archaeologist Flint Dibble about the ancient Greek origins of the Atlantis legend and how it has been reimagined in more recent times, including in the Netflix series Ancient Apocalypse.


For more information and to arrange interviews:

Natasha Lee, Senior PR Manager, Immediate Media
(m) 07825 866 546

Notes to Editors

1. Key facts about the HistoryExtra podcast:

Top 4 countries for downloads
1. US
2. UK
3. Australia
4. Canada

Most downloaded episodes (since 2020)
1. The surprisingly modern Middle Ages
2. Early Medieval Britain: everything you wanted to know
3. Pompeii: everything you wanted to know
4. The Ottoman Empire: everything you wanted to know
5. Inside the prehistoric mind
6. Vikings and Franks
7. Egyptian pharaohs: everything you wanted to know
8. How did the British royals survive WW1
9. Everything you ever wanted to know about Nazi Germany but were afraid to ask

Most listened to episodes of all time
1. A Year in Medieval England
2. The amazing history of Egypt
3. Ancient Rome special
4. Lenin and the Russian revolutions
5. The Romanovs and King Arthur
6. The battle over Henry VIII’s will

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