Theo Zenou

Theo Zenou is a historian. He has just finished a PhD at Cambridge, on the Cold War

The spy movie that set Putin on the path to the KGB

Leningrad, summer 1968. Volodya is 15-year-old. With his mates, he goes to the cinema to catch The Shield and the Sword, the new movie everyone in the USSR is buzzing about. It’s a big-budget production about a Soviet spy who infiltrates the Nazis during World War II. Volodya is blown away. ‘I am going to

Meet climber, photographer and filmmaker extraordinaire Jimmy Chin

‘Why did you want to climb Everest?’ reporters quizzed mountaineer George Mallory in 1922. That the question even needed asking shows mountaineering is fundamentally different from other pursuits. No journalist would ever ask a footballer why they kick a ball around. But mountaineering is gruelling and you’re way more likely to perish from it than

Roddy McDougall, Theo Zenou, Gus Carter and Toby Young

23 min listen

On this week’s episode, Roddy McDougall remembers heroes of the speedway, (01:15) Theo Zanou examines at Stanley Kubrick’s fascination with Napoleon, (07:20) Gus Carter looks at a memorial to everyday heroism, (17:20) and Toby Young explains what’s wrong with Equity’s anti-racism guidelines. (21:35)

Kubrick’s Napoleon – the greatest movie never made

Two centuries ago — on 5 May 1821 — Napoleon Bonaparte died in a rat-infested house. The fallen Emperor had spent his final years exiled on the British outpost of St Helena. Yet Napoleon’s ignominious last act was only the beginning of his legend. A recent data-driven study, published by Cambridge University Press, crowned him