One of the UK’s foremost, distinguished and respected historians — ranked amongst the most influential Black Britons of our time — David Olusoga is Professor of Public History at Manchester University and a BAFTA award-winning documentary maker, broadcaster and writer.
A regular contributor to the Guardian, Observer, New Statesman and BBC History Magazine, his books include Black and British, which won the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize and the Longman-History Today Trustees Award, The Kaiser’s Holocaust and The World’s War. He was also a contributor to The Oxford Companion to Black British History.
A regular face on our television screens, David Olusoga presented the major BBC2 series A Black History of Britain, from slavery to the twentieth century, from the Windrush Generation to the country today. His contribution to landmark BBC Arts series Civilisations explores contact, trade, interaction, empire and race. He has also presented shows such as A House Through Time, Black and British: A Forgotten History and the BAFTA Award winning Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners.
As the pre-eminent historian working in British television today, David has worked in front of, and behind the camera, for over 20 years. He has devoted his entire working life to telling the stories we, as a society, have collectively chosen to forget, or ignore.
David was born in Lagos, Nigeria, to a Nigerian father and British mother, before migrating to the UK when he was five years old, where he grew up on a council estate in Gateshead and studied history and journalism before starting his career in broadcasting. Later his home was attacked by the National Front on multiple occasions and his family eventually forced out of their home.
His move into television came about when David realised black people were not represented in the media landscape, so following his graduation from university he became a TV producer.
Following his Liverpool-based BBC series A House Through Time David Olusoga moved on to tell the story of a Georgian end-of-terrace property in Ravensworth Terrace, Newcastle, on his native Tyneside. Starting the story from around the time the house was built in 1824, David explored the often complex lives of the owners and inhabitants from pre-Victorian times right up to the present day – with some extraordinary revelations along the way.
In 2019, David Olusoga was awarded an OBE for services to history and community integration.