Bob Nicholson


Expert in Victorian popular culture, Dr Bob Nicholson, has made his second appearance on Radio 4’s Making History programme, discussing Britain’s first tabloid newspaper.

During the programme, which aired on 20 September, Bob shared his research into the Illustrated Police News, dubbed the ‘Worst Newspaper in England’.  He discussed how this historic, low-brow newspaper tapped into the Victorians’ fascination with the bizarre and the shocking, featuring lurid accounts of crimes and grisly illustrations of murders and hangings, and went out on to the streets of Chelsea to gauge public reaction to the paper today.

Making History is a topical history programme which explores the latest historical and archaeological research

Dr Nicholson specialises in nineteenth-century Britain and America, with a focus on journalism, popular culture, jokes, and transatlantic relations and his research has been published in a range of academic books and journals. He researches the history of Victorian popular culture and is particularly interested in the history of Victorian jokes. His recent project to create an online archive of one million Victorian jokes was awarded the British Library Competition prize in 2014.

If you missed the programme, click here to listen.