Personal profile

Research interests

I have published widely on the history of the British media, notably on the history of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). In 2022 I published a centenary history, This is the BBC, with Oxford University Press. In my work I have examined the history of newspapers and the periodical press, radio broadcasting, and television. I have also written much about the history of the British empire and Commonwealth. I have sought to bring research in these different fields together to reveal the connections between empire and the mass media during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and to explore themes in global history.

I led a Leverhulme Trust International Research Network 'Connecting the Wireless World: Writing Global Radio History' (running 2016-2019) bringing together a group of scholars from around the world to think about global perspectives on the history of international broadcasting. Together, we have since written a book on this topic for Oxford University Press, called The Wireless World.

I am interested in transnational perspectives on British broadcasting, the impact of radio on global news flows, the history of listening and audience responses, and in piecing together the incomplete record of past programmes broadcast for international listeners.

I am also currently developing a project on the history of press freedom and regulation in Britain and the British empire.

I am also increasingly interested in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British social and cultural history.

My earlier research examined the role played by newspapers and news agencies in linking up the component parts of the ‘British world’ (Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. More recently, I have written on the role of the BBC in building and strengthening imperial connections since 1922, and the BBC's response to the decline of the British world after the Second World War.

I have also published on the wider historiography of the British empire and the British world.


Research Supervision

I have supervised a number of PhD students through to successful completion and have considerable experience of examining PhD theses at Bristol and at other universities.  

I welcome research proposals on media history, including the history of newspapers and the periodical press, radio broadcasting, and television.

I also welcome research proposals on the political and cultural history of the British empire, particularly on the 'metropolitan' history of British imperial policy-making and the history of Britain's relationship with the 'British World', notably Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. 

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss your research plans or if you would like to talk about applying to the South West and Wales Doctoral Training Programme (SWW DTP) or other sources of funding for research.



I teach courses on the history of the mass media, British history in the nineenth and twentieth centuries, and global and imperial history.


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