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Read this: David Olusoga: Bafta-winning historian

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David Olusoga: Bafta-winning historian…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 about the British Media politics and where we are as a society with some incredible guests the historian and broadcaster David all the sugar is being honoured with a BAFTA special award.

He's here for his first interview dropped so are spectator political editor Katie bold journalism professor Emily Bell and comedian.

Nish Kumar who's new political podcast launches this week.

I think he was your first proper episode today.

What's it called? What's in it? We just recorded episode is going to deal with the coronation and the title is tvd but we did we finish recording it about half an hour ago with myself on my co-host ecococon and the Express hope it does not conclude with us being sent to the tower much more about that later.

But now you know the historian and brought writer broadcaster and filmmaker David on a sugar is produced and presented documentary for more than 20 years including a house Through Time black and British a forgotten history and a sequel to Kenneth Clark civilisation and next week at the BAFTA TV awards David will receive a BAFTA special Award for his outstanding contribution to television very many congratulations Day Welcome to the media show that you will take us back to the beginning you started.

I think it's a research and producer behind the camera.

What was the first programme you ever worked on the media like everybody then and now just desperate to work on anything so I did lots of research and development I work for different companies and then I worked at the one place.

Where are having lots of ideas, which was the only currency I did happen every moment didn't know anyone have any context was actually Radio 4 so the Radio 4 producer for about 3 years and then back to television my first.

Programme was a programme about a black intellectualism in America on BBC Four and how do you think of the kind of history programs we want to watch changed career.

You're most proud of is actually TV evolved enormously and it's really down to one specific thing which is when I first began.

Whenever you talked about the documents material of history the stock we make history from people they would say that they're boring very often people with an adjective.

They call the drive doll dusty anything of onscreen was allowed other than a document that was blown out of the water by who do you think you are and Alice Graham the adventure of that format has done the service history television is it showed that the audience when frightened of documents and so the gulf between what historians actually do and what we do on television.

Just broke down and I think that's being the absolute.

Revolution is the time in history on speaking a different language anymore.

We using the same stuff people also fascinated by crossed.

It's not just about you is the history discover the process of Discovery having those have been the big the big change in as I would like to think some of those in those changes have been reflected in the problems out mate and you have a particular program that you're most proud of what is an answer because I've always been a producer so very often some of the programs I care about my name is a little name of the end of the credits of people presume.

It's can you play programmes was all over the screen and most proud of a series of program that accepts producer of all the unremembered about the Commonwealth War Graves Commission its failure to equal in a more realise soldiers lost in Africa in the first animal in space race and that lead to an enquiry at lead to an admission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission that there was pervasive racism in its history and it lead to change and the TV very very

Can actually bring about change it can bring about admissions at the program and the album mentioned in Parliament I'm very proud of that as well as all the wonderful things that got to do with my face on the screen and we don't have a couple of that but we do have a clever one of them where your face is on the screen and I hope we can play it now.

It's from a house through time and this is one of the episodes from 2018 to see what stories we can find inside it.

So how long have you lived? You do you know much about history Flats at one point but I don't know anything about the people who lived here before us.

David olusoga.

Such a momentous in brilliant.

Show we talked about this being a golden age of TV drama, but I wonder about history.

You know how easy is it to get a new history show commissioned.

Birding is difficult not sure that the streamers in the SD cards are really found their footing when it comes to history.

I think some programs did I think repeat very old familiar Histories often get made a new exciting breakthroughs and what's happening in the world history often struggle to find a place that said I think the the big thing is that the process being historian is now included within the experience and watching TV on history and this amazing history on television that there are looking forward to the new series of Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland in peace of recent is there is amazing history on television and a house through time does feel like that kind of progress groundbreaking program that really appealed.

Do you think that was what the appeal is a what is it to you that that may has made that program so enduring.

People and the that's and first vaccination we just we can talk about the big movements and big ideas and political ideas, but fundamentally comes down to people and there's a bigger change taking place beyond just television which is where is becoming much more inclusive we began in the 16th of the socialist revolution still like the Tudors we still want to talk about political history, but the history of the people like us like our ancestors.

I think that really impacts on people in an emotional way that I don't think we quite understood maybe 2030 years ago when I Began my career TV and I wanted to talk about when you began because you know you've obviously now become so successful, but looking back at your colleagues when you started out.

You know you said a few years ago the Edinburgh TV festival that you're one of the last standing of TVs Lost Generation as you called them black and brown people who entered this industry 15 20 25 years ago with high hopes and left and what were the problems as you identify the

How do you think you made it when I was didn't what happened? I had a mortgage to pay and no other identifiable skills, so I don't have a problem has a problem with race as a problem is I don't need people like myself who were from the same socioeconomic background from cancel the state and the most depressing thing about the metallic she was afterwards.

I was contacted but doesn't black and Asian people who worked in television said that my experience is a being marginalised by the prism of stereotypes that with the Accord with our experiences and the only difference was that I'd stayed and that they they left we're not going to find a mechanism by which the media Can Be lyrics Everybody and tell everyone stories until the industry reflects Society and in terms of socioeconomic class and raise to a certain extent gender and Sydney disability we still

Do you think things are changing our things changing even since 2020 when you made that speech or do you not feel hopeful we can see change the problem? Is is that be the generation I spoke of the generation you join with you should now the executive producers series producers to be running channels.

They gave up they left.

They found the weather in Blackwood sky Mobile you so in history is the vacuum of those failed initiatives of past decades.

That's in some ways the most pressing problem.

Is that we don't more people should be in that position.

Then we have to ask ourselves if we can have a black and ethnic minority in this country.

Why haven't we had a channel controller of Italian in the racing channel is quite remarkable that we often think that we are the Liberal progressive Media I think we give ourselves a free pass very often.

We look at other areas are the sectors that actually.

I want to turn to your role and the board of the Scott trust which publishes the Guardian you involved in their cot and capital project which stem from an investigation into the Guardian founders links to slavery.

What does it on covered covered something that we probably should have thought about earlier when I said story which is the the the man who invested in the in the Guardian work on brokers in the Manchester of the 1820s.

Will the cotton that's coming into Manchester 1820s is produced by and sleep people overwhelmingly in the United States but also in Brazil and Elsewhere and the money much of the money used to find the Guardian has got links to another form of slavery not so much did slavery although one of the investors did Roman slaves people of American slavery in Somerset shows a deeper connection for to slavery particularly in the knighted States but he's beyond the part.

We know which is Britain's Direct involvement in slavery and the slave trade so the Guardian and embarked on the two very major reports with some extremely school historians needing the research and we've published those reports and we've acknowledged those connections may also engaged in a program of restorative justice.

Why do you think it's only in the past newspaper is reassessing it's links to Empire and is anyone else doing it in Britain in the media field as we are part of the movement.

Just this year.

We've had loads of England technology connections to the Atlantic slave trade and slavery.

We have Laura Trevelyan and the Trevelyan family as publicly acknowledge their connection to slavery in Grenada we had last year other universities across the world.

There is a movement of confronting this history being open about to do apologise about it and also engaging in this new field.

Trying to find ways of using some of that well games from those that's terrible crimes to do something positive and does restorative justice include the Guardian paying reparations.

Do you think it includes the Guardian engaging with with descendant Communities to invest in their communities and try to improve people's lives but also investing in want me to very well which is journalism trying to change the demographics of the British Media to increase diversity and tell him in the newspapers.

Just as we were talking about it in television and I wondered on a slightly different does your role on the Scott Trust board mean you ever get involved in editorial matters At The Guardian because I wonder what your take was on the anti-semitic cartoon of BBC chairman, Richard Sharp that was published over the weekend and I apologise for it's been in the news the last few days that cartoon was completely unacceptable.

The editor can find all the teeth and hopefully we're going to learn and move on from incidents, but I think no question and the Debate within the Guardian that's completely unacceptable and one other thing I'd be interesting to get your thoughts on it something that Nish Kumar raised at the beginning of the program that he's you know looking at his podcast 1st August in the coronation of course that's happening next weekend will be scribbling down their first draught of history, but how does a historian like you think this moment will be remembered a moment when we realised just how I just how straight should because the monarchy is because we witness the Queen that most of the funeral was relatively more in terms of the elements of the Coronation that are more than 1000 years old do elements to go back to the Anglo-Saxon kings.

It is extraordinary that this same ceremony.

In the same building for 1000 years and like all ceremonies it can seem very strange to the modernised.

We haven't seen one for 70 years so Generations back to the last coronation.

We're going to encounter more than 1000 year olds how many and I think people are gonna find it very very strange as well as an exciting and dynamic, but it's very old and all the things are often including the anointing with oil but we won't be able to see that I think with oil the the fact that it is quite like a wedding ring kings and queens often talked about them being the husband to the to the realm of the country by the ratings and not to be someone else.

So it is it's pretty intense and I think some people who might think it's going to be a bit like a funeral all wedding which.

Weird Stakes is quite low I going to be quite surprised just how ancient and intense some of the stuff is David you're going to stay with us.

I'd like to bring this tomorrow in here at the kids as I said at the beginning of the program.

You got this new satirical political podcasts which is launching this week and you are indeed covering the coronation in your first episode.

Can you give us any flavour of what you're saying? I think you know I think we're happy to have a conversation about the timing of the Coronation and how in a cost-of-living crisis that presents and slightly challenging Optics shall we say I think that yeah? I mean I think that it's it's definitely I think the strangeness of a lot of the traditions and the kind of alien nature of a lot of it is definitely a surprise.

It's a lot of people as they said so few of us have the collective memory does not.

Record of the last coronation this is called pod save the UK that's just here.

I could have it now.

So we we have borrowed this idea for This podcast from the United States I borrowed I mean wholesale stole to do it's go abroad and steal ideas for your podcasts which launches tomorrow and I think it's a British answer to the hit us podcast pod save America which was hosted by quiz hosted by former President Obama's for Mairead and was described as the answer to conservative talk radio and it began in 2017 under what kind of gap you're trying to fill here in the UK I mean, it's obviously what we're not.

He claims to do is mimic the expertise of those hooks this is this is this comes from the same podcast network and that podcast network was founded by Jon Favreau John love it and tell me who worse x Obama staffers and segway into podcasting at least in part in response to the election Donald Trump in the us posted his inauguration in January 2017.

They contact me some time ago about whether I would be interested in doing a P60 show in the UK I think the de-identified some common threads and common conversations happening within the two countries as well as obviously and interesting points of divergence in our political cultural and political traditions in the UK what you are trying to save America from trump if you like, what are you trying to say?

From how much you want me to talk about all the BBC I have had some trouble before United Kingdom Saving from I think we can say it's a left-leaning can we I think that I think that's fair to say it's it's on a shame in its opening and country to some of these have been written about me when I went to the BBC be effort was made to try and keep things balanced as much as possible.

I think that you know now you're not siphoning off licence fee payers Muffy maybe a little bit more relaxed about letting my opinion come through the point of bringing Katy balls.

U2 podcast for The Spectator which I'd say was from the other side of the political spectrum at the cinemas Coffee House shots which Focuses on political analysis and women with balls where your interview women do you think there's room for more political podcast in the UK right now in market in the sense that feeling a lot of new podcast in the past year some while such as a newsagents articles had form of BBC stars moving over Emily maitlis, Jon Sopel do with Google but then also think in the past week alone at 3 new podcast included so so I think you are seeing more competition.

I think that can be quite good thing and all the podcast Adrian quite different things.

I mean I think there's some similarities and generally podcast attend to be a bit more opinionated as we just heard they're bit more relaxed and which is why I didn't a lot of time younger audience prefer them sometimes, too.

Richard broadcasting and that was more relaxing said you don't have to you don't have to worry so we get Gaston for example Coffee House shots which is daily analysis and get something on the last part of the right if you had two on the right to the left, you don't have to worry that you're missing your quota that day and I think there's something about podcast in this.

I think probably the more people who go onto that's probably the more you get people trying out new podcast so it can be quite healthy thing ok and Emily bell from Columbia journalism school.

I'm interested in your views on this.

I've had a look ofcom's most recent podcast survey 50% of people never listen to podcasts, so I mean is this a growth industry.

Do you think when I was six and the surprising thing to me that is a very young medium.

So you have these longform podcast often going for people like me think they could do with a good heart but people.

Cereal in their early 20s 18 to absolutely love them, so it's definitely growing and I think what this is trying to do is something which is sort of alien to broadcast in the UK which is bringing that political View with very very comfortable with that and I'll print culture but we're very uncomfortable that with that in our broadcast almost exactly the opposite to the US where you have a really polarised broadcast system, but when most of the print edition has been to be as centrist as you possibly can and this I saw you not in there, but is the plan make money and they would that be from sponsorship from live events and I think that's where they're always to alastair's at Android Stuart Alastair Campbell podcast they seem to sell out there live events is that is the plan to monitor presumably you don't let you think you might make the money out of it well.


I mean we nice thing for us is that we're slotting into an existing podcast in company and podcasting network.

I think that there's a lot of podcasting and I think this is a real positive about it, but a lot of podcasting is still has the kind of garage industry feel to it and people starting it up and I think part of the reason it's called people's imagination is that it is quite easy because of the technology that's available to start something of yourself.

I mean from my perspective with slotting into an existing structure and that has existing sponsorship an existing advertising structures that are already in place so dramatic aspects of commercial is actually being taken care of by cricket, so I consider myself very lucky and you touched on this earlier, but do you think you could have made their show for the BBC because as we're mentioning you dropped a few years ago some people said it was because the corporation wasn't happy with its perceived left wing bias.

Yeah, I mean I think that I think I slowly over the period that I hosted the mash report became quite a sort of loaded figure and I think you know there was certainly articles written by think that overstated the influence.

I had on the overall direction of the corporation.

I mean as far as I can tell that Tim Davies not interested in the opinion of a comedy show host the overall direction of travel but as a time when he was making his name on impartiality the run out and they wanted to commission you obviously fine.

I did ask if they would be clarification around the Sun news story that suggested it was to do with political bias and so far.

I've heard nothing back from that front that's just my that's just my

Experience of the whole thing interesting sorry, can you bring up the sun but I think that was a round of story ideas about it was a war on woke by the director-general.

I'm interested you saying that because the sun yesterday.

I had a big headline Brits say no to woke based on a YouGov poll for the paper that looked at issues including the government's Asylum policy trans rights and Britain's history and we think about it at the moment in various parts of England and Northern Ireland is the extent to which woke has become an election issue Katy balls from The Spectator what's going on here and a coincidence the sun that story our head of the elections.

Do you think I mean? There are lots of days of your daily paper as it was lots of days.

You're gonna run different splashes ahead of a local election.

I mean it's a paper that doesn't always front page of course, but I think was slightly at risk of overheating and agenda there in the sense that if I'm thinking about the main themes in terms of this local election campaign I don't think.

Something I the main parties have massively been pushing as part of their campaigns me the Tories effectively pretending with the local elections are happening at least a national levels and partly expectancy quite badly.

I think the pole they obviously zones in on the way Callum and it was pretty wide-ranging and I think that's cool start to pick the fact that there are some things as education on gender in schools at the polling actually showed some support for some things which should perhaps go against someone that had them so I think there's a lot to everyone that problem then and Emily bell US Season 2 server of the British media and the Hobby Horse is there a ride on our culture Wars a confection of the media is Katie said I should be read past the headline of the song piece the pole doesn't really show what headlight promises but this idea that colour.

Was already what you go after in politics when you can't win on the substantive issues, which are usually economics education health etcetera in the in the States be different to the Central government here is not in charge of that much, but we've seen this incredible Media if you like on it and it's positive do their own media as well.

So gone to Santa's is famously the governor in Florida he wants to run for the Republican nomination.

He is a great for payment all the war on universities on trans people on lgbtq etc, but that is Poland playing appalling with the rest of the country.

So I think it is this tactic that's been really champions in the States to take on a very different type of political and and and and we've seen how it's going on abortion in the United States which is really bad Faisal Republican party and my love to hear your thoughts.

As we near the end of the program all this culture war issues most of history history into the system is represented historian the saying to misrepresent their historical research, so I should have done politically but it's almost always action or misrepresentation everyday of my life.

I have people on Twitter accusing me of not writing things.

I've written books about have made programmes about so it isn't much as much about false information is about about political campaign and Culture Wars good for business as you want your new podcast or is that way to cynical and ultimately I am a man of colour living in the United Kingdom so it doesn't benefit me on a day-to-day level to say these things are and I think things like word woke.

It's so important to establish.

What word was coined by the african-american community and then used by African American academic describe the specific awareness african-americans needed to have due to structural and systemic racism in America and now it's something that sort of gets thrown around completely unanchored from its original context and I just I always a bugbear of mine.

I feel like every time.

We use terms like we should be defining atoms at every point but I think that's maybe a kind of level of rigour that I'm not shouldn't be back in from the Sun newspaper that we will expect in your new podcast we always get rid of from historians Angeles like professor of journalism Emily bell, so I'm I'm grateful to you all for coming on the programme.

Thank you so much.

I'm afraid we've got time for those kemaco presenter of pod save the UK which launches is tomorrow is available.

Wherever you get your podcasts Katy balls the political editor of The Spectator Emily bell professor of Colombia

school and director at Tower centre for digital journalism and historian writer and broadcaster David olusoga, who will be presented with his birthday on the 14th of May at the TV awards be broadcast on BBC one.

That's it from now from the media show thanks so much goodbye.

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