Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time Podcast Click here

There are 1,000s of readily accessible podcasts covering a vast range of topics including history, science, religion and philosophy. Each podcast lasts around 45 minutes and can be downloaded onto and mobile devices-very handy on a journey to and from school. There are also useful further reading lists to encourage wider reading. I have picked out just four of my favourites from the series but I have to admit I was rather spoilt for choice!

The Battle of Stamford Bridge: Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Battle of Stamford Bridge. In the first week of 1066 the English king, Edward the Confessor, died. A young nobleman, Harold Godwinson, claimed that Edward had nominated him his successor, and seized the throne. But he was not the only claimant: in France the powerful Duke of Normandy, William, believed that he was the rightful king, and prepared to invade England. As William amassed his forces on the other side of the Channel, however, an army led by the Norwegian king Harald Hardrada invaded from the North Sea. Harold quickly marched north and confronted the Norsemen, whose leaders included his own brother Tostig. The English won an emphatic victory; but barely three weeks later Harold was dead, killed at Hastings, and the Norman Conquest had begun.

Foxes Book of Martyrs:Melvyn Bragg discusses one of the most important books of the Reformation, Foxe’s ˜Book of Martyrs” that recounts the horrific deaths of hundreds of martyrs put to death in the reign of Mary I. Melvyn is joined by Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church at Oxford University; Justin Champion, Professor of the History of Early Modern Ideas at Royal Holloway, University of London; and Elizabeth Evenden, Lecturer in Book History at Brunel University.

War in the 20th Century: Melvyn Bragg explores ideas that have influenced 20th-century human rights and warfare. With Michael Howard and Michael Ignatieff.

Good and Evil: Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss whether religion can still be seen as a way of interpreting and judging good and evil in modern western civilisation.