Known best for hosting such historically-themed television programs as In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great and Great Railway Journeys, this British historian also published a number of historical works, including The Story of England and In Search of the Dark Ages.
After earning his bachelor's degree from Oriel College, Oxford, he began his graduate study of history, but suspended his academic pursuits to work as a journalist for the ITV and BBC networks.
His historical television programs aired in the United States (on PBS) as well as in Great Britain; among American viewers, he is best known for his 1992 Legacy series.
After ending his relationship with English broadcast journalist Pattie Coldwell, he married TV producer Rebecca Ysabel Dobbs. He and Dobbs later welcomed daughters named Jyoti and Minakshi.
He taught history at the University of Manchester, where another English writer, Simone Bienne, earned a degree in the subject.