The Retrospectors: Arion McNicoll, Rebecca Messina, & Olly Mann

The Retrospectors are three UK journalists – Arion, Rebecca & Olly – who publish bitesize, daily digests poring over curious moments from this day in history.

Their show Today In History with the Retrospectors has over 500 episodes to discover. Here, they share the history podcasts they use to fill the void between shows…

Decoder Ring

Ever wondered who invented the mullet? Or how Baby Shark took over the world? You can find out by joining host Willa Paskin as she delves into cultural mysteries and answers questions you didn’t even know you had – like why do we associate rubber ducks with bath time?

The Presidents & Prime Ministers

Focussing only on one President or Prime Minister per episode – George Washington, Richard Nixon, Margaret Thatcher – is a neat way to introduce the individuals who helped shape Western democracy. In each edition, LBC’s Iain Dale interviews the writers who have penned essays about the politicians in the accompanying book series.

Philosophize This!

The history of philosophy can feel impenetrable at the best of times, but host Stephen West does an impressive job of making even the most mind-meltingly complex philosophical concepts both comprehensible and entertaining. Come to remind yourself you are smart because you know what Descartes meant by “I think therefore I am”, stay to discover that you never really knew what Nietzsche was getting at when he said “God is dead.”


We love learning about corporate histories: the origins of the products and services we use every day. Blair Zoń, however, focuses exclusively on the businesses that can’t do good for doing BAD. Although she’s a YouTuber first and foremost, her voice is very soothing so this is a less stressful way to consume her ‘Corporate Casket’ videos!

The History Chicks

Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider unearth wrongfully forgotten pioneers and shed new light on familiar names in this in-depth biographies of women from history. These two friends have been putting out this painstakingly-researched show in addition to day jobs and families for more than ten years – truly amazing!

Witness History

Journalists, biographers and critics have their place – but you can’t beat hearing from the people who were actually there. This long-running World Service series exploits the BBC’s unbeatable archive to create entertaining ten-minute summaries, stuffed full of first-hand testimonies.


Hosted by Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley, each week this show explores the history of a different foodstuff – from caviar to chewing gum – to chart their unique and often surprising journey to our hearts and mouths. Get ready to wow your next date with your facts about, um, dates…

A History of the World in 100 Objects

It has been over a decade since this podcast came out, which makes the show a slice of history in its own right, but this complete history of the world as related by the former director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, is still as brilliant as ever. The objects cover a time span of more than two million years and include everything from an early first stone axe and the Rosetta Stone to solar panels and credit cards. 

You’re Wrong About

Ok, so sometimes You’re Wrong About can run a bit long. Their telling of the Elián González story for example, which we managed to pack into ten minutes, runs for over an hour. But the format does give room for host Sarah Marshall and her guests to properly delve into why it is that so many historical figures’ stories have been told either partially or wholly incorrectly. 

Just the Gist

Fun, fast-moving (but meandering) show from Aussie comedians Rosie Waterland and Jacob Stanley which, like our podcast, skips around from popular culture to military history and conspiracy theories, so you never get bored. Their episode on Shirley Temple inspired ours!


Three US history professors share stories from American history, all connected to a shared theme. Subjects range from fashion to child marriage to the history of profanity. It’s educational, entertaining and tackles even heavier topics with a light touch. Although it went off the air in 2020, there’s a massive catalogue of episodes to discover.

Betwixt The Sheets

There may not be much of a thread that links Winston Churchill, Agrippina, Rasputin and Queen Victoria, but one thing that does connect them is that they all had sex. That is (sort of) the premise of this brilliantly bubbly show which takes a look at history through the lens of coitus. Plus there is a whole episode about Santaphilia – yep, attraction to Santa. What’s not to love?

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