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Bettany is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, whose speciality is global culture. Her programmes are regularly watched by 250 million worldwide. She is currently a Tutor for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education, a Research Fellow of King’s College London and a Visiting Professor of History at NCH.


Her latest work on the life-story of Istanbul from prehistory to the present has recently been published to widespread critical acclaim and within 3 days became a Sunday Times bestseller. She has written and presented over 50 radio and television documentaries on international subjects ranging from Islamic culture to the great philosophers and artists of the world for the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, PBS, The History Channel, National Geographic and ITV.

In 2010, she was awarded the Naomi Sargent Education Prize for Broadcast Excellence and was given a Special Award for services to Hellenic Culture and Heritage. In 2011 she was Chair of the Orange Prize for Fiction and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Historical Association and of Cardiff University. She was awarded the Norton Medlicott Award for services to History in 2012 and in 2014 was made a DfO of Oxford University in recognition of her contribution to the academic life of the University. 


Bettany has just been awarded Europe’s Cultural Heritage Prize – the first woman ever to get this award. She is the Chair of the Man Booker International Prize and she was selected as one of the twenty most influential people in culture, in London, by the Evening Standard. In 2019 she was honored with an OBE for Services to History.