Documentary presenters in the UK

  • or - Mods, if I should wax excessively misogynistic, please feel free to close this thread.

Last night, while trying to sleep, I turned on an episode of Time Team. Perfect! I cried because Baldrick and his gang of aged boffins rarely have time to find anything but mud, so I laid back, anticipating an hour dreaming about anything but Iron Age hill forts. Then they introduced a woman with them, my TV archaeology girlfriend, Bettany Hughes, OBE. Drat! Now I will need to pay attention. Her bosom won’t watch itself and she seems real fond of putting it on display. Not in an obvious or prurient way, just a matter of fact manner. “Hi, we’re here, too.”

It got me thinking about my other favorite hosts. There’s Dr Lucy Worsley, OBE, the pixie queen of the Tudors.

And then there’s Dr Suzzanah Lipscomb. The cascade of honey blonde ringlets who told us the ways you could die at home through the ages.

To make her even more impressive, she was even on a comedy panel show.

For male presenters there’s Dan Snow, MBE. He often presents shows about another of my interests, things blowing up.

I’m open to other suggestions, especially from the US, including titles and education so I know why I should listen to them

The one that gets all the attention is Professor Brian Cox. You either love him or hate him, but his explanations of astronomy and physics are rather good I think. He did a wonderful explanation of the complexity of Saturn’s rings in Wonders of the Solar System.

Ooh! Ooh! Caitlin Doughty – Ask A Mortician

Letting certain areas of the OP slide for the moment…

Lucy Worsley is the subject of a certain amount of profanity in our household (from one particular member), in that these days she often presents waaaaay outside her area of expertise. The particular member also has a doctorate in a specialist historical field and argues with the television about questionable or over-broad statements being made by Dr W. I tend to point out “They’re using her because she’s on contract and it makes more sense than hiring yet another presenter”. This does not help things.

But if it’s erudite female television presenters you want, why not consider Dame Mary Beard? Her expertise on ancient Roman culture is unrivalled.

Thanks! I will give her a try.

I found the three I chose for the OP on American public TV. My gooey crushiness was largely a joke born of too much time on my hands.

Rich Hall, an American from Montana, is occasionally tapped to comment on US culture for the BBC.

I’m rather fond of his works in general.

I could never stand Rich Hall and was happy when he left the US.

There’s one fetching female presenter—I don’t remember her name right offhand—who is always chipper and bubbly no matter where she goes. She did a documentary series on the spice trade and charmed her way through South Asia collecting cinnamon bark and other such goodies. Watching her, all I could say was “She’s so happy! She must really love her work!”

I also like the bald guy who talks about physics, and Ruth What’s-Her-Name and the guys with whom she works her way through different periods of history.

I have a very big crush on Alice Roberts. She’s bright, knowing and all around gorgeous.

And for the opposite camp, there’s Neil Oliver. He’s also great, and he has such a cute accent.

My friend, I’m not doing your homework for you. I found the women you mentioned in seconds using the clues you gave, but I’m not telling you. The bald guy talking about physics could be anyone, but I’m going with Ali G.

You needn’t do anything for me, nor would I ask you to. I couldn’t do an Internet search at the time because I was in the middle of something else, and I couldn’t remember the relevant names off the top of my head.

Now that I have a few free minutes, the physicist is Jim Al-Khali.

Ruth is Ruth Goodman.

Kate Humble did The Spice Trail.

Are you sure it’s not Ali G? :wink:

What is depressing me is that all of these people are younger than I. :frowning:


How badly did I stomp all over the rules with this thread?

Yes, I like him very much too.

I think Richard Ayoade did a good job as Travel Man, even though he confessed that he actually hates travel.

Though he was originally a comedian, not a presenter, I loved Michael Palin in his travel documentaries (Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, etc.)

Palin is and Jones was marvelous presenters.

I’m trying out Absolute History. I’ve seen individual episodes; I had no idea there are so many.

Also, I really like the hosts of Mystic Britain, though I’m not sure if it’s actually an English production (it runs on the Smithsonian Channel here in the U.S.). The hosts are Clive Anderson (who was the original host of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” in the U.K. in the '80s), and anthropologist Mary-Ann Ochota – they have an excellent chemistry, and have a lot of fun with the show.

Mystic Britain looks like fun. I’ve always liked Clive.

This thread is a bigger mistake rhan I thought. I have enough TV to last me until Doomsday. Not to be confused with any books or documentaries by Michael Wood or ordered by William the Conqueror.

Or John de Conqueroo, for that matter.

The Master (if it’s still okay to call him that) speaks:

1973!? Isn’t that before Little Ed took over from Little Dave? I’m back to feeling real old.