Dr Fern Riddell is a cultural historian who specialises in entertainment, sex, women, and the working classes in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. She completed her PhD at King’s College, London and was awarded her doctorate in May 2017. She obtained her BA degree and Masters in History from Royal Holloway, University of London. She is dedicated to getting unique historical stories into the widest possible arena, through projects that are exciting, entertaining and combine multiple media platforms.
Fern presented the BBC iWonder film, Why Do We Still Love Sherlock, looking into the nations obsession with the infamous detective. She has also appeared extensively across our screens as an expert on programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are (BBC One), Women, Sex and Society – A Timewatch Guide (BBC Four), Coast (BBC Two) Secrets of The Workhouse and Secrets of the Asylum (ITV), Matthew Sweet’s Chaplin and Music (BBC Radio 3) and on British Conservatism: The Grand Tour (BBC Radio 4). She has also presented a BBC Arts short film based on her research on the Victorian music-hall star Kitty Marion.
Fern has provided historical consultancy for three of the Ripper Street series (BBC One & Amazon Prime), Horrible Histories (CBBC), The Living & the Dead (BBC One) and upcoming series Decline & Fall (BBC Two), which is an adaptation of the iconic novel.
A graduate of The BBC Academy’s “Expert Women” programme, Fern was also selected as one of the 10 BBC Radio 3’s “New Generation Thinkers” for 2013, contributing and appearing on Radio 3’s “Nightwaves” programme, as well as Radio 3’s ‘Free Thinking Festival’.
She is a columnist for BBC History Magazine and has also written articles for The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.
Fern’s first book, “The Victorian Guide to Sex: Desire and deviance in the 19th century” was published on 15th May 2014.