BROADCASTER and historian Dan Snow is an honorary patron of the Chalke Valley History Festival. Here he tells the Journal what he is most looking forward to at this year’s festival.

  •  Immigration in Antiquity with Tom Holland – June 29 at 5pm.

Tom Holland is one of my favourite historians. He and I have worked alongside each other on TV, radio, podcasts, and the Scottish Referendum campaign. He is as brilliant in person as he is on the stage, a rare attribute.

A few years ago I was unlucky enough to debate him AND Boris Johnson. The result, predictably, was a crushing defeat.... I expected nothing else.

  •  They Called it Passchendaele with Lyn MacDonald – July 2 at 5pm.

This is the centenary of Passchendaele and so I am looking forward to all the events that commemorate this battle. It was such an appalling disappointment for the British. The lessons from the Somme had been learned but appalling weather, extraordinary German tenacity in defence and mistakes by commanders all turned this into another hideous quagmire for the BEF. Lyn MacDonald is a mustsee this year.

  •  Irreconcilable Truths with Don McCullin – July 2 at 5pm.

I am lucky enough to meet interesting people who have achieved notoriety in various fields. Mr T from the A-Team revealed on the One Show that he was a big history fan, I spent the morning with the last Dambuster, Jonnie Johnson, last week.

But few people have caused me to swoon as Don McCullin. His photographs from Vietnam are the best war photography that I have ever come across. He has a swashbuckling character to boot. You’ll love this.

  •  My Heritage and Ancestry Morning – June 30 at 9.30am.

My Dad is taking part in the heritage and ancestry morning.

He is the world’s great keeper of scrap books. He’ll be alongside other experts showing us all how to create our own family archives, without relying on the internet. Embarrassing baby photos are de rigeur.

  •  Sgt Pepper and the Summer of Love – July 1 at 9pm.

It’s the anniversary of Sergeant Pepper. This is probably the most important popular music album released in living memory. This talk should be fun and thought provoking. This will help you to make sense of a world where singers and actors all too often seem to dwarf politicians, scientists and writers. It will also be a chance to bathe in totemic British music.

  •  Lancaster Bomber Pilot Rusty Waughman – July 2 at 11.30am.

No list of highlights of Chalke Valley is complete without the veterans telling us about their experiences in their own words.

It is sobering that some of the veterans who have entertained, moved and educated us over the past few years are no longer with us. This is your chance to hear the story of the most dangerous job in the Second World War from the man who actually did it. Don’t miss it.

Dan Snow will be discussing ‘The Importance of History’ on Sunday, July 2, at 6.45pm. He will also be broadcasting via his History Hit podcast from the Festival all week.

The festival is from June 26-July 2 in Broad Chalke.

Visit or call 01722 781133 for tickets