THE BEARDY HISTORIAN
I’m an award short-listed author and broadcaster specialising in history, politics and religion.
You may have seen me on TV commenting on the history and mystery of the Knights Templar and bringing other historical themes to you in hopefully a popular and engaging manner.
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.
This blog brings to your attention the first of a new historical fiction series published by Bertelsman in Europe and available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon. It’s the result of years of research on the ground at Templar sites in Europe and the Middle East. You’ll see that I’ve blogged from many of these locations. The Templar Series kicks off with a thrilling adventure set in the 12th century called Quest for the True Cross.
The story covers the crusade that took place in what is now Portugal and Spain where Christian and Muslim forces faced each other in a centuries long combat. Our hero is an English Templar knight Sir William de Mandeville tortured by his own demons and on a quest to find a holy relic stolen from the Templars.
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.