The Rest is History co-host Tom Holland says he's not a fan of podcasts

Historian tells The Telegraph that he never listened to podcasts before doing one

Tom Holland, historian and co-host of Goalhanger’s hit podcast The Rest is History, isn’t a fan of podcasts despite being the host of one, according to a new interview. 

Holland has been co-hosting The Rest is History with fellow historian Dominic Sandbrook since 2020, and the podcast has been a regular fixture at the top of the UK charts, alongside other Goalhanger podcasts including The Rest is Politics and The Rest is Football.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Holland said that he had no prior experience in podcasting before co-hosting The Rest is History, telling the paper that it wasn’t a medium he ever engaged with before and which he barely engages with now. 

“The irony is that I’d never really listened to podcasts before I started doing it,” said Holland. “And I still don’t really listen to podcasts very much.”

However, he also added that podcasting has the widest reach of any medium illustrating historical events, and that he is “completely ecstatic that it’s worked out”.

The Rest is History has covered numerous historical topics on a twice-weekly basis including the Roman apocalypse, Martin Luther King’s legacy, the Boston Tea Party, and many more. Holland told The Telegraph that because of the podcast, he no longer has time to read books that aren’t related to the show, but he still has time to work on his own projects like his newly-released book Pax: War and Peace in Rome's Golden Age. 

It's not uncommon for podcast hosts to not actually engage with podcasts as listeners. Examples of other hosts who have told PodPod that they don't listen to podcasts themselves include iWeigh and Bad Dates' Jameela Jamil, and The Gossip Gays co-host Danny Beard.

The success of The Rest is History is built on the dynamic and chemistry between the co-hosts, Holland and Sandbrook, which was - according to Goalhanger co-founder Jack Davenport - a conscious decision made by the company.

Similarly, they’ve applied this strategy to their other podcasts like The Rest is Politics with former political figures Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart and the newly-launched The Rest is Football with co-founder Gary Lineker and fellow former players Alan Shearer and Micah Richards. 

“It just felt like a space in the market for something chat-formatted and with the warmth of tone that brings people back on a week-to-week basis,” Davenport told PodPod in a previous episode of the PodPod podcast. “I think when you start from the relationship and you build out from there, that's the one thing we try to keep consistent across all our pods.”