Goalhanger and Wondery announce new podcast in first collaboration

Legacy reexamines the reputations of historical figures, starting with Napoleon

Podcast production company Goalhanger has unveiled its first project with Amazon-owned content studio Wondery, building on the success of previous partnerships.

Coming 15 November, Legacy is a new podcast series which reexamines the reputation of key figures from history, recontextualising them and assessing whether our perception of them is justified. The first season of four episodes focuses on French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, with future seasons set to look at Nina Simone, Mikhail Gorbachev, Cecil Rhodes and Pablo Picasso. The podcast will be launching across all platforms simultaneously, but will be available to listen to ad-free on Wondery+ and Amazon Music.

The series is hosted by historian Peter Frankopan, and writer, broadcaster and journalist Afua Hirsch. Much of Hirsch’s previous work has dealt with issues around deconolisation and the reevaluation of history through a racial and sociopolitical lens, and in 2020, she hosted the podcast We Need To Talk About The British Empire for Audible. Frankopan, meanwhile, hosted a current affairs podcast for Global in 2021, titled I've Been Thinking with Peter Frankopan.

“We’re living in an age where perceived wisdoms and ideas that have been handed down over generations are being debated in a new light,” said Hirsch, “and that is healthy. I am excited to have these conversations with Peter as although we occupy different worlds, we share a curiosity in unpicking conventional thinking... and doing some thinking ourselves!”

“The coming decades will see huge transformation in our lives,” added Frankopan, “and that means the sands of the past will shift too in response to some the big questions of today. Picking out the key individuals to think about what they did, why they did it and how we should think about that today will be a real challenge but exciting! I have known Afua for a long time and I can’t think of anyone better to debate the big themes of Legacy.”

The new podcast joins Wondery’s growing stable of content, including UK originals like British Scandaland Ghost Story, as well as successful long-running shows such as Dr. Death and Morbid

“As we re-examine the past to help us understand the present, this brand-new series blends Wondery’s cinematic approach to storytelling with Goalhanger’s talent for razor sharp discussion,” said Wondery’s head of international podcast content Jessica Radburn. “Hosts Afua and Peter are great company and terrific storytellers, and whilst they don’t always agree with each other, their deep expertise means they both share profound insights - with each other and with our listeners - in every episode. Legacy is an entertaining and fascinating ride.”

Although the production company is perhaps best known for its The Rest Is… franchise, including shows like The Rest Is Moneyand The Rest Is Politics, Legacy also follows Goalhanger’s much-vaunted podcast Empire, which looks at the history and impact of empires, starting with the British rule over India. Goalhanger launched a membership offering for Empire this week via Supporting Cast, offering benefits such as fortnightly bonus episodes, exclusive newsletters and early access to live shows.