The lengthy titled show, Dan Snow: An Evening with ‘The History Guy’ on The History Hit UK Tour 2018, comes to the Alban Arena on July 2.

James Rampton speaks to him to find out all about it…

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Can you please talk us through the motivation behind doing your first live tour.

When you’re making television and podcasts, it’s very lonely. You sit by yourself and think, “Is anyone watching?” That’s why TV presenters take to Facebook Live. That gives you the number of viewers at the bottom of the screen. It might be only five people, but at least you know someone is there!

Tell us more

Doing live events at book festivals and book launches is a huge treat because you get to meet people. It’s an enormous boost to the confidence to know there are people out there following what you do! The tour is the first time I’ve done this in an organised way where we’ve been able to build a proper show. It’s a great chance to meet people and say thank you to those on whom my career depends. I’m really looking forward to it.

What will you be talking about in the show?

A large chunk of the show will be about local history. It will have direct relevance to the place we’re in. That’s not difficult to write. Just looking at the list of venues, I can see I’m going to St Albans. That was an incredible Roman settlement that was destroyed by Boudicca.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Do members of the public help with your research?

Yes they do. There is so much history out there it’s ridiculous and I find the stories that people send me fascinating. Also, it’s easier to become knowledgeable in an aspect of history. It’s not like physics where you need a $300 billion particle accelerator in the house to become an expert.

Do people want to recount their personal histories, too?

Yes they often want to tell me all about their family history or the part their family played in history, like a soldier in the First World War. A huge number of people tell me stories about their ancestors. They will say something like, “My father was the first black RAF pilot.” Listening to them, you realise how many firsts there are.

Is your hope that you can captivate audiences with your infectious enthusiasm for your subject?

Yes! History is not all about dead kings, old libraries and dust. It’s everything. It’s your parents’ eyes meeting across a crowded room and why we are who we are and why we are speaking English and why it’s acceptable for women and men to mingle together. I hope people walk out of the theatre saying that they had a really good time.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Does studying history also help us to understand more about the present day?

Definitely. It explains so much about today. Why can’t you book a boozy holiday in Somalia? That is down to history. The country’s instability is the result of colonial interference, food scarcity and the interference of America. In the same way, why can’t you go to a pub in Armagh and sing “God Save the Queen” without being glassed, while 20 miles away it would be fine. That’s all about history. If you’re curious about the world today, history can help you understand it.

Did you inherit your love of history from your family?

Yes. My dad is fantastic on the heritage side. I inherited that from him. He has relentless energy and was always taking us to different places as children. Also, my Welsh grandma, Nain, was a huge storyteller. She taught me to give history a human element and to bring it alive. I hope my history is very real and vivid because of her.

So were you were introduced to the joys of history at a very young age?

Yes. Every weekend as a child, I was taken to a historical site, a castle, palace or a museum. I got History Stockholm Syndrome as a boy, and now I’m inflicting it on my own children! I don’t bother asking them how they feel about it. They seem to tolerate it – they don’t know any better!

Tickets are available from or on 0844 888 9991.