I have gravitated to podcasts like no other time in my life. I love history-based podcasts. You’re Dead to Me from BBC Radio 4 is a hilarious romp into history for people who hate history by Greg Jenner. Who knew could be so much fun. When these podcasts are put in a modern context, it is always fun to listen to. Jenner is labeled as a ‘celebrity historian’.
The history podcast for people who don’t like history… and those who do. Greg Jenner brings together the best names in comedy and history to learn and laugh about the past.
Greg Jenner‘s latest book: Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen (2020)
Celebrity, with its neon glow and selfie pout, strikes us as hypermodern. But the famous and infamous have been thrilling, titillating, and outraging us for much longer than we might realize. Whether it was the scandalous Lord Byron, whose poetry sent female fans into an erotic frenzy; or the cheetah-owning, coffin-sleeping, one-legged French actress Sarah Bernhardt, who launched a violent feud with her former best friend; or Edmund Kean, the dazzling Shakespearean actor whose monstrous ego and terrible alcoholism saw him nearly murdered by his own audience – the list of stars whose careers burned bright before the Age of Television is extensive and thrillingly varied. In this ambitious history, that spans the Bronze Age to the coming of Hollywood”s Golden Age, Greg Jenner assembles a vibrant cast of over 125 actors, singers, dancers, sportspeople, freaks, demigods, ruffians, and more, in search of celebrity’s historical roots. He reveals why celebrity burst into life in the early eighteenth century, how it differs from ancient ideas of fame, the techniques through which it was acquired, how it was maintained, the effect it had on public tastes, and the psychological burden stardom could place on those in the glaring limelight. DEAD FAMOUS is a surprising, funny, and fascinating exploration of both a bygone age and how we came to inhabit our modern, fame-obsessed society.