Seize the Day: Channel 4 and the Revival of Rugby League on TV

The relationship between rugby league and television has never been easy. Now it’s Channel 4s turn to shake things up It was March 1976, and Britain was on the brink of change. In Westminster, shockwaves ripped through the political world when the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, handed in his resignation to the Queen. Having been … Continue reading Seize the Day: Channel 4 and the Revival of Rugby League on TV

Rethinking Labour’s Past: History of Sleaze Event (Jan 31st @ 6pm)

A Rethinking Labour's Past event from Progressive Britain, Tides of History and the Labour History Research Unit at Anglia Ruskin About this event How does the Tory sleaze of the 2020s compare with the Tory sleaze of the past?  What do people think and what does the data tell us? What was it like being … Continue reading Rethinking Labour’s Past: History of Sleaze Event (Jan 31st @ 6pm)

Podcast: Class and the Politics of English Rugby League

As a companion piece to our Chapeltown Road chapter of the Super League War, Michael chats to British labour historian Anthony Broxton about Thatcherism, striking miners, economic depression and how it all relates to Rugby League in England. Was a pleasure to be invited on to the Rugby League Digest podacst this year to talk … Continue reading Podcast: Class and the Politics of English Rugby League

Thatcher’s Britain: The strike that saved Only Fools and Horses and changed TV history

Celebrating the genius of Only Fools and Horses on its 40th anniversary - but it almost never survived its early struggles in depicting Thatcher's Britain. It was the summer of 1983, and John Sullivan was on a caravan holiday in Hastings with his wife and two children. It had been a difficult few months for … Continue reading Thatcher’s Britain: The strike that saved Only Fools and Horses and changed TV history

The Great Unknown: A Betting History of the Great British By-election

This article originally appeared on Political Betting on 4th May 2021 The modern era of political betting began in 1963 when Ladbrokes’ Ron Pollard opened up a book on the Conservative Party leadership contest. Shrewd punters could back the outsider Alec Douglas-Home at 16/1 over the hot 5/4 favourite Rab Butler….. In recent years we … Continue reading The Great Unknown: A Betting History of the Great British By-election

Robert the Lion Heart: Rob Burrow and Too Many Reasons to Live

Rob Burrow approaches MND like he did Rugby League: with bravery and without fear It was October 2011, and as they do at the end of every season, thousands of rugby league fans descended on Old Trafford to see which way the League title would be decided.  Since the creation of a play-off and Grand … Continue reading Robert the Lion Heart: Rob Burrow and Too Many Reasons to Live

Benn, Healey and the Labour contest that never ends

This article originally appeared in The Times on 28 September 2021 Forty years ago this week Labour members across the country packed up their suitcases and headed down to Brighton to decide their party’s fate. Over the summer of 1981, Denis Healey and Tony Benn fought their deputy leadership battle in every newspaper column, television … Continue reading Benn, Healey and the Labour contest that never ends