Category Archives: History

Marriage, Margaret Thatcher & the closet of female expectations

This article first appeared in The Big Issue. Journalism worth paying for (subscriptions available) For years my mother kept an entire cupboard where she used to save up things for my trousseau; the old fashioned concept of a bride’s personal … Continue reading

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Plotting Paradise: A journey through medieval maps and the mind

  Strains of Paradise may start with medieval maps and the Garden of Eden, but producer Anthony Denselow and I didn’t want to shy away from difficult questions too.  So we ask a Muslim theologian about the power of a … Continue reading

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On location for HG Wells and the H Bomb

As well as this documentary I’ve written this feature for BBC Culture about how the Atom Bomb changed our culture and imagination. And I discuss it with Robert Elms on BBC London here. Listen from 1 hr 39 minutes. In … Continue reading

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Shylock: A Traveller in Time

The film producer Davina Belling once said of Jonathan Pryce that she always uses him as a lesson for actors “not to count their lines when they’re offered a role. He had 20 lines in the whole film [Breaking Glass] … Continue reading

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Serial killer stories: From Burke and Hare to Tales Of The Grim Sleeper

It was late, I was tired and I needed cheering up and I found this great comedy on TV that I’d never seen before which did just the job. Burke and Hare, directed by John Landis in 2010 and starring … Continue reading

Posted in Comedy, Crime and Justice, Film, History, journalism, Media, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The White North Has Thy Bones: Ice stations, submarines & the woman who swam the North West Passage

Here’s a programme to listen to huddled by the fire, like Jane Eyre with her book of polar wildlife as the wind howls outside. Producer Kevin Dawson came up with the idea of our latest Something Understood  programme about the … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Environment, History, Music, Radio, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

On the trail of Oliver Cromwell’s Fundamentalist Queen

All photos copyright Samira Ahmed. No re-use. I was fortunate to work with two terrific producers,  Simon and Thomas Guerrier on this documentary for Radio 3. I first worked with them on DVD extras for Doctor Who. Simon had penned … Continue reading

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Interstellar’s Heart of Darkness & the Dust Bowl

I like to go to the cinema to escape the gloom of a Sunday evening and what better escape than Interstellar? An epic journey to other worlds. It begins in a rural America devastated by environmental disaster. Real survivors of … Continue reading

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Crossing the black line: the secret history of Durham Cathedral

BEYOND THE GREY TOWERS: THE MYSTERY OF DURHAM CATHEDRAL from Samira Ahmed on Vimeo. When you walk into Durham Cathedral take a moment to look down at your feet in the nave. You might notice a big black line of … Continue reading

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Electric cars, the tinned sardine aquarium & the stink of Hearst Castle – an eco-trip through John Steinbeck’s California

This column first appeared in The Big Issue magazine. Journalism worth paying for. A giant eye in an inky mass rose up of the water and beheld me. It was a humpback whale calf surfacing unexpectedly close to the prow … Continue reading

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