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.
I’m a former BBC news producer, print journalist and award short-listed author with a wide range of interests across history and science. In recent years, I’ve appeared on many TV documentaries discussing royal scandals, the Second World War, incredible inventions and the truth about the bible. I also run a series of blogs with my favourite being The Templar Knight – a detailed history of that order of sacred medieval warriors.
Accurate and entertaining
I think my background in journalism – TV, print and online – has made me appreciate the need for thorough research, accuracy but at the same time, the ability to entertain and relay information in an engaging manner. As a former news editor of mine used to say when confronted by a story that didn’t excite her: ‘worthy but dull’.
So I try to occupy the middle ground between serious academia and the completely bonkers fringe conspiracy theorists. Making complex stuff easy to understand and fun to learn about. As one documentary producer said to me – remember the viewer has had a tough day at the office and just wants to be transported to some incredible place.
The darker side of history
For several years, I worked as a consultant in counter-terrorism and counter-extremism around the world for government clients. This played to my obsessions with politics, religion and history – and the violent way in which they mix. In 2016, I co-authored a well received book on non-violent Islamist extremism reviewed on several global news outlets.
I’m fascinated by the dark side of history. The plots, conspiracies, wars and revolutions that have convulsed the world for millennia. I’m often asked to talk about the Nazis and the Second World War but also the Cold War and Soviet Union. Going back further, I’m always happy to delve into murderous intrigues, death cults and assassinations. Crime and history are always a compelling combination.
Developing documentary ideas
Apart from appearing on screen, I’m also increasingly developing ideas for documentaries with partner companies and financiers. I’m involved with one company that specialises in areas like UFOs, historical mysteries and weird science while another company majors in crime, terrorism and conspiracies.
I’m also a writing machine generating blogs, social media content, books, all forms of copy at an industrial rate. Never happier than when my fingers are dancing across the keyboard!
But enough of me, let’s get on with the history!