THE BEARDY HISTORIAN
You have hopefully enjoyed The Templar Knight blog but would like to know the mysterious bearded gentleman who brings you these nuggets of wisdom and historical insights. Well, wonder no more – here is everything you need to know about Tony McMahon below.
My name is Tony McMahon. I’m an award short-listed author and broadcaster specialising in history, politics and religion. I appear regularly on TV, speak at history events and run some high profile and hopefully entertaining blogs – with The Templar Knight promoting my historical fiction Quest for the True Cross.
I appear as a regular history expert on two TV series – Private Lives of the Monarchs presented by Tracy Borman and Forbidden History presented by Jamie Theakston. The next series of both programmes will feature me in every episode.
I will be on ITV at prime time in late 2018 with more details to follow and I will also pop up on the History Channel talking about the Knights Templar of course.
I was in Portugal filming with the History Channel during August, 2017 investigating secret tunnels under the Templar stronghold of Tomar. This was for a documentary series to accompany the channel’s multi-million dollar drama spectacular Knightfall.
I’m also happy to address history related events – not as an academic but an author and broadcaster with an interest in many historical topics. In June 2018, I shared a platform with Professor Helen Nicholson to discuss the Knights Templar as part of a very lively event at the Bradford Literature Festival – chaired by journalist Remona Aly.
My Templar novel Quest for the True Cross was published in Europe by the German publisher Bertelsmann (under the Euromedia imprint) with impressive sales in hardback and paperback. It details the struggle of an English Templar knight to recover a stolen sacred treasure The True Cross and his involvement in the siege of Lisbon to retrieve it.
In 2016, Saqi Books published a major work co-authored with human rights activist Sara Khan on the crisis facing modern Islam from a minority of extremists. The Battle for British Islam was reviewed by The Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Sky News, BBC and other media outlets.
I’m an ex-BBC news producer and print journalist and my first forays into books were biographies published by Aurum Press, a division of Quarto. I spent several years studying the subjects and when the books came out, they got extensive media coverage including interviews on the BBC and Sky News.
In 2010, Aurum Press/Quarto published my book ‘No Place To Hide’, the hard hitting biography of 1980s boxer Errol Christie. This book was short-listed for the 2011 British Sports Book award and long-listed for the William Hill sports book prize. It was also recommended by The Guardian as a 2010 Christmas read and Errol was the subject of interviews in the national press as well as Sky News and the BBC.
2010 also saw the paperback edition of my biography of Neville Staple – front man in ska band The Specials. ‘Original Rude Boy’ was reviewed in the Huffington Post, read the review here. The Specials, in case you didn’t know, were the coolest pop combo in the early 1980s and gave voice to a generation of youth who felt very alienated and ignored. The book launch happily coincided with the reunion tour of The Specials, which saw sell-out gigs all over the world.