THE BEARDY HISTORIAN – Tony McMahon – as seen on TV!
Join me on YouTube: @tonymcmahon_historybear
Historian, author and former journalist. My background as a print, TV and online reporter and producer means I approach history from an investigative angle. Looking into the past to uncover the truth about mysteries that are seemingly unsolvable. My job is to distinguish fact from fiction, history from mystery.
Hope you’ve enjoyed the blog and please feel free to contribute and comment!
Topics of interest:
- The Knights Templar – the mystery and the history of this enigmatic order of monastic warriors
- Post-war politics including Watergate, Vietnam, McCarthyism, Thatcher, trades unions, etc
- Terrorism and violent extremism – worked for years as a consultant to the UK and US government on communications around preventing extremism and wrote a book on Islamist ideology
- History of Horror – huge interest in vampires, werewolves, and mythology plus the origin of children’s fairy stories
You may have already caught me on TV talking history and science – on the Discovery channel, Channel 5, History, Smithsonian, Science, Travel, ITV, etc. I’m a regular contributor on such documentary series as Forbidden History, Strange Evidence, NASA’s Unexplained Files, Private Lives of the Monarchs, Buried and America Unearthed.
On TV making history fun!
Over the last thirty years, I’ve been a BBC news producer, Sky News reporter and an award short-listed author. I’m represented by the Futerman Rose literary agency and have been published by Aurum Press, Saqi Books and Bertelsmann.
My history TV appearances seem to have involved caves quite a bit. In Portugal, I crawled around some subterranean spaces with a crew from History for the documentary series Buried talking about Templar treasure being hidden away in the Templar citadel of Tomar. And then in Scotland, I was literally crawling on my belly to enter a cave with presenter Scott Wolter for an episode of America Unearthed – that broadcast on Travel.
On ITV, I dressed as Henry VIII and walked down a high street in London…
And on Forbidden History, I discussed Queen Victoria’s love of drugs…
At the Bradford Literature Festival, I talked Templars with Professor Helen Nicholson and the broadcaster Remona Aly…
And then there’s my novel on The Knights Templar published by Bertelsmann in Europe and also available via Amazon in the UK and US…
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.