Neil Oliver

Historian, Archaeologist And Presenter

Neil qualified as an archaeologist in 1988 and his fieldwork experience covers everything from the early Stone Age in Scotland to the examination of the World War II coastal fortifications of Kent and Northern France. He also trained as a journalist, working on publications such as The Scotsman, The Herald, The Guardian, The Edinburgh Evening News and The Daily Record. These experiences proved invaluable when in 2002, his career as a television broadcaster began. BBC2’s Two Men in a Trench, saw Neil and Tony Pollard, visit historic British battlefields, and recreate the battle situation using state-of-the-art technology. To accompany the series he co-wrote two books, Two Men in a Trench: Battlefield Archaeology and Two Men in a Trench II: Uncovering the Secrets of British Battlefields, published by Michael Joseph. Following this, Neil joined the team of BBC2’s highly acclaimed series, Coast, and in 2006, he stepped into the role of lead presenter, looking at both the natural and social history of the British coastline. Neil’s television credits are numerous and include A History of Ancient Britain for BBC 2, which was followed by A History of Celtic Britain, telling the epic story of how the Ancient Britons evolved and entered European civilisation; Vikings, a 3-part search for the truth about the Vikings and Rise of the Clans, where Neil travelled back in time to reveal the story of Scotland's ancient clans. On the back of his latest book, The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places which garnered much critical praise, Neil was able to tour all over the UK. He spoke to over 39 sold out venues, explaining what British History means to him, and why we need to cherish and celebrate our wonderful countries. 

If it's been buried in the ground during the last 10,000 years, Neil has dug it up. The human story here is a million years old, and counting. The tolerant, easy-going peace we enjoy has been hard won and the places Neil has seen have given him a unique view and understanding of our history. Audiences can expect a captivating lesson in the history of Britain, and its surrounding isles, as well as stories from his adventures around the world - all told with Neil’s great wit and humour.


Arts & Culture, Entertainment, History

Slideshow Items

  • The events were a huge success and I have been inundated these past two days with emails from people telling me how much they enjoyed Neil's talks. He delivered a fascinating presentation and made himself available to talk to people from the audience after each show, which was greatly appreciated.

    Joe Perry
    Flow Country World Heritage Site Working Group