History documentaries

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BBC Select is the place to discover so much more about history. Stream a range of compelling BBC history documentaries that explore the people, places and events of the past that shaped our world. Whether it’s the Roman Empire, Nelson and Napoleon, Black history, the story of the Titanic or the Tudors, BBC Select brings acclaimed and award-winning history shows, and featuring experts including Bettany Hughes, Lucy Worsley, Simon Schama and David Olusoga.

How Mad Was King George?

King George

King George III was the longest-reigning king in British history. But his reputation brands him a foolish, incapable madman. As this history documentary reveals, this unfair assessment overshadows his achievements and qualities as a monarch. With new revelations from diaries and letters and interviews with experts, a very different side to this remarkable ruler emerges.

Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities

Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities

It’s known by some as the ‘Centre of the World’. Simon Sebag Montefiore charts the rise of Istanbul from pagan trading post to capital of three empires and two religions. This one metropolis has been held by the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Each left its mark in its architecture, traditions and in the communities who still populate this vast modern conurbation of 14 million people.

The Royals: A History of Scandals

The Royals: A History of Scandals

In the last few years, the British Royal Family has been plagued by scandal. But, as Professor Suzannah Lipscomb reveals in this fascinating history documentary, the UK monarchy has always been mired in gossip and intrigue. The role that the media, government and the public have played in generating outrage and spreading scandalous royal rumors is delved into and regal secrets are shared.

JFK: The Home Movie that Changed the World

JFK: The Home movie that changed the world

Abraham Zapruder’s home movie capturing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is one of the most remarkable documents in American history. To mark the 60th anniversary of JFK’s murder in November 1963, this revealing documentary focuses on the little-known history of the actual 8mm film that captured the horrific events and spawned endless speculation and conspiracy theories.


Watch Napoleon with BBC Select

This epic 3-part BBC Napoleon documentary sees Andrew Roberts retrace the footsteps of Napoleon Bonaparte to learn about the life of the legendary French leader.

With access to a unique archive of personal letters, historian Andrew Roberts brings the story of Napoleon vividly to life.

As he retraces the footsteps of the legendary leader, he sheds new light on Napoleon as an extraordinarily gifted military commander and mesmeric leader, whose private life was, contrary to popular belief, littered with disappointments and betrayals.