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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 book 'The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World', a Sunday Times Bestseller, is a new history of the ancient world told through its seven greatest monuments. 

Her book 'Venus & Aphrodite' reveals the truth behind Venus by examining ancient art, evocative myth, archaeological discoveries and philosophical explorations. Her previous book, the life-story of Istanbul from prehistory to the present was published to widespread critical acclaim and within 3 days became a Sunday Times bestseller. Both books were shortlisted for the Runciman Awards. 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. 


In 2019, Bettany was honoured with an OBE for Services to History. She was also the chair of the Man Booker International Prize and was selected as one of the twenty most influential people in culture in London by the Evening Standard. In the same year, Bettany was awarded Europe’s Cultural Heritage Prize – the first woman to ever get the award.

In 2021, Bettany was awarded the Fem 21 International Journalism Award for her 'exceptional contribution to the international coverage of the place of women in societies past and present'.

Bettany was recently honoured to receive the Gold Cross of the Order of Beneficence. 

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