Horrible Histories student brings history to life for Richmond School students

From left, Jack Riddlestone (Year 11 student), Henri Ward (Historical Producer on Horrible Histories) and Eleni Oliver (Year 11 student).

A producer from the Horrible Histories TV shows brought the past to life when he shared his experiences on the series with history students at Richmond School.

75 Year 11 GCSE students were enthralled by Henri Ward’s stories from Horrible Histories.

In addition, 20 Year 12 A-level students were invited to the Georgian Theatre to hear Henri in conversation with Philip Wicks, as part of the Richmond Walking and Book Festival.

Both events were organised by volunteer and book lover, Carol Watson.

Henri spoke about his career path and how he got into television – first of all as a runner making terrible cups of coffee, before doing research on Horrible Histories and then becoming the historical producer for the show.

He explained his job, which is to think of interesting and different parts of history and research them in detail which are then explained to the comic-writing team who devise the sketches, before Henri fact-checks what has been written.

Year 10 student Jack Riddlestone said: “I most definitely enjoyed how Henri painted a behind-the-scenes picture of how Horrible Histories, one of my favourite childhood TV shows, was and is made, edited and produced.

“Whilst also speaking about history, Henri told us how his job came to be and all the fact checking and that actually entails this rather hard job.

“It was fun and enjoyable to hear all the funny stories about how he and his team actually stumbled upon stories to make them into the show we all enjoy today.”

Henri is working on other TV programmes, including filming for Channel 4 in Belgium about the battles of Dunkirk and Waterloo.

He also mentioned an idea which he has pitched about our current Queen when she was younger and her girl guide troop that was created specially at Buckingham Palace.

Henri said: “It was a delight to speak with students at Richmond School as they are considering the next steps in their education. They asked some wonderfully inquisitive questions – a great skill for any future historian.”