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Media Appearances

I have appeared on TV, radio and online. Below is a selection of clips and links to videos and radio programmes in which I have featured. They range from early medieval mathematical tricks to an unusual costume for a marathon...

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'An audience with The King'​, March 2023

As Senior Proctor of the University of Cambridge, I was honoured to join the delegation to present a Loyal Address to King Charles, on the occasion of his accession. 


As well as hearing the Loyal Address given by our Acting Vice-Chancellor—and representatives of the other 26 "privileged bodies"—I had the opportunity to speak with His Majesty, and to show him the 18th-century Statute Book traditionally carried by the Proctors.

I wrote about the event in a blogpost for the University's website.

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'A very curious Almanack'​ at the Royal Society, 2023

In January 2023 I helped archivists at the Royal Society figure out some unique coded tables in a newly digitised medieval almanac.


The manuscript was featured on Google Arts & Culture, the story was picked up by media outlets including The Times, and I was interviewed for Times Radio's Saturday morning Breakfast show. 

Times Radio Breakfast, 28 Jan 2023
00:00 / 06:21
Solved: Mystery of a medieval code, article from The Times featuring Seb Falk

2021 Podcasts

I appeared on several top-rated podcasts in 2021, and had great fun discussing medieval science in various formats. These are a few of my favourites:



BBC Radio features, 2020-21

As a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker, I made two programmes for BBC Radio 3 in 2020-21. 

I presented an episode of Free Thinking, interviewing two historians of science and a scientist on subjects ranging from colour perception to Martian canals:


And I made a Sunday feature about medieval and modern pandemics:

Astrolabes: The Medieval Smartphone?

September 2020

In this short film made for Penguin Books, I demonstrate how to use an astrolabe, and explain its importance in the Middle Ages.

The Light Ages

September 2020

The release of my book The Light Ages aroused some media interest in medieval science.  Have a listen to these clips from the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 (3rd October) and Dan Snow's History Hit podcast.

John Westwyk and his inventions also featured in:

I was also interviewed on several other podcasts, such as The Medieval Podcast, Inquiring Minds, Hidden Histories, and Star Talk with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

BBC Radio 4 Today - The Light Ages
00:00 / 04:53
History Hit with Dan Snow
00:00 / 19:37

Worst Foot Forward

July 2020

I had a hilarious time as a guest on the comedy podcast Worst Foot Forward. Over an enjoyable hour or so I gave hosts Ben Van der Velde & Barry McStay a scenic tour of the Hereford Mappa mundi.

Worst Foot Forward - World's Worst Map
00:00 / 1:17:55

Free Thinking: Hands and the History of Science

June 2016

My first appearance on the BBC was a research 'postcard' for the Radio 3 programme Free Thinking.  While in the studio, I demonstrated some medieval finger-counting for the producers!

My demonstration was featured as one of "3 things we love" on the front page of the BBC website the following day.

3 things we love BBC website Seb Falk

Click to enlarge

Click here to watch my demonstration on the BBC website.

In June 2020, BBC Mundo interviewed me about finger-counting for their Spanish-language channel.  They published a web article - "La ingeniosa manera en la que lograban contar hasta 9.999 con los dedos en la Edad Media".  For their piece, I re-recorded the video above in Spanish!  You can watch it near the bottom of the article.

Exploring the Mariner's Astrolabe

June 2017

This short film was made for the BBC Arts website. It was filmed on location at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, my rickety shed, and on the River Orwell on the windiest day of the winter.

Directors: Trudy Shillum & Ryan McKenna

Click here to watch the complete film on the BBC website.

Seb Falk marina snow wind BBC

London Marathon wind worry for Cambridge Gherkin Man

April 2014

In 2014 I ran the London Marathon inside an 8-foot tall, 10 kg papier-mâché model of London's 30 St Mary Axe, a.k.a. "The Gherkin".

I raised over £14,000 for the Cure Parkinson's Trust, and was described as "downright silly" on the BBC News at Ten.

This film appeared on BBC Look East in the week before the marathon. 

Seb Falk Go Gherkin King's College

The World inside a Spanish Globe

December 2012

A little research project I did for my master's degree made the news in several countries after it was featured in a Cambridge University film.

Spanish globe Russian National Geographic

My research showed how interactive toys like this globe helped reform stuffy methods of education around the year 1900. 

Seb Falk York Festival of Ideas

The Essay and Free Thinking, BBC Radio 3


I have made two programmes for the Radio 3 series The Essay. Both were produced by Jacqueline Smith.

I have also appeared on the Radio 3 programme Free Thinking:


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