TV interview: Jamie Theakston’s latest TV screen role is as history man

Jamie Theakston goes into the stories behind some of history's greatest mysteries.
Jamie Theakston goes into the stories behind some of history's greatest mysteries.
0
Have your say

TV and radio presenter Jamie Theakston, 41, is rarely far from our screens or stereos. His latest role is presenting UKTV’s new factual series Forbidden History.

CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE NEW SERIES, FORBIDDEN HISTORY?

Essentially it’s a new six-part series on UKTV, where I embark on an adventure to try to unravel why certain mysteries and historical secrets still exist.

So we’ve picked several different ones, like the lost treasure of the Templars, and try to find out what really happened.

WHAT’S THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU’VE DISCOVERED IN THE SERIES?

I thought one of the most fascinating stories was the Bloodline of Christ. That was something I never knew much about before we started filming, but I was fascinated to meet people who talk of a bloodline from Jesus and Mary [Magdalene] – that they were in fact married and possibly had children.

IS THERE ALSO MORE INTEREST IN HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY AFTER DISCOVERIES SUCH AS RICHARD III’S SKELETON?

I think that was a lovely story because it gave people an everyday context. A living history - it’s not in a museum, it’s underneath a disabled space in a car park in Leicester, which made the story charming.

A lot of history programmes can be quite sterile, but what we’re trying to do is make history the context in which we look at the stories.

We’re trying to make it come alive.

HOW DID YOUR FAMILY REACT TO YOU JETTING OFF AROUND THE WORLD?

They’re always quite pleased to see the back of me! We had to work it round my radio schedule [Jamie presents a breakfast show every morning for Heart FM], and it was pretty tight. I’d get on a motorbike from the studio at nine as soon as the show finished, shoot down to Heathrow, jump on a plane, fly down to wherever the crew were, do my stuff, then back on Sunday night for the show Monday.

HOW DID IT COMPARE TO YOUR OTHER WORK?

I don’t think you can compare it – the radio show is my daily job, but this is a lot of fun. I find it really interesting, so it’s nice to be able to do the two!

IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO ANY TIME IN HISTORY, WHEN AND WHERE WOULD IT BE?

I think Victorian London would be an interesting time. I’m fascinated by civic planning, and the idea of seeing a city coming together as quickly as it did 140 years ago. The pace of change was so fast. Forbidden History, Yesterday, Fridays at 9pm from September 27.