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Step Into The Past Podcast Logo



What if you could follow in the footsteps of your ancestors and reveal the hidden tales behind some of the UK’s fascinating historical locations? Join historian Professor Suzannah Lipscomb and the experts at Find My Past as they visit a range of locations cared for by the National Trust, to uncover the stories that took place there. Each episode explores the family tree of a guest whose ancestors played a key role in the history of the property.

If you’ve ever wondered about your own family history, why not Step into the Past with us.


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Step into the Past was a documentary series we created with Find My Past in collaboration with the National Trust. Find My Past came to us with the seed of a very bold idea, to create a live re-telling of a member of the publics family history, in a location steeped in their personal history. Throughout this series, our plan was to create an immersive documentary that transported listeners back in time through the corridors and footpaths of some of the UK’s best-loved landmarks.


For this series to work we needed to find living ancestors of families that had a rich history. We needed a conduit to tell these stories and facilitate genuine reactions from our guests when they discover the family history they knew nothing about. Hours of research and fully scripted episodes for our host were the only way to bring the wealth of historical information to life in a meaningful and narratively driven structure. Some podcasts are free flowing and off the cuff, this was going to be the opposite.

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Location recording is a great mechanism to bring storytelling to life but it also represents many challenges. Not only are there many more variables to control but we were reliant on the weather and needed to make sure any atmospheric audio we recorded was fit for purpose. 


Heavily scripted narrative podcasts create a far tighter structure but we also needed to be careful not to lose the raw nature of what makes a podcast a podcast. We needed room for ad-hoc content and asides while sticking with the episode structures.


Condensing 200 years of family history into a 40 minute episode was always going to be challenging so our team worked together to distill the most salient and interesting elements into the final scripts while retaining the chronology and interest.



Working closely with the genealogists from FindMyPast we found important historical locations and tracked down descendants with a link to those locations to take them on an atmospheric journey back along the lines of their family tree.


In each of our episodes, we explore the intriguing pasts of various individuals. Our host and historian, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb, uncovers fascinating facts about her family lineage, taking us on a journey from London, India and the United States. Plus, we introduce her to some new relatives she never knew existed, along the way! 


This documentary series was always going to be an immersive experience for the listener, recorded on location with atmosphere front and centre in the recording and production of each episode. We wanted to transport those listening back in time and allow them to switch off and fully immerse themselves in the past.


Series one was so well received by Find My Past that they commissioned a second series, this time creating full video episodes along with the audio podcasts.



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