Bamber Gascoigne

Born in London on 24th January 1932, he arrived at Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1955 to study for an English degree, during which time he wrote the musical Share My Lettuce which became a West End production starring Kenneth Williams and Maggie Smith in 1957. As well as 25 years on University Challenge, the record for a presenter of a quiz show, he has also presented Cinema, The Christians, Man and Music, Victorian Values, and The Great Moghuls.

Since 1994 Bamber has been developing the history website HistoryWorld which won the 2002 New Statesman New Media award for the best education web site.


  • Twentieth-century drama (1962)
  • Timothy: the drawings and cartoons of Timothy Birdsall (1964)
  • World theatre: an illustrated history (1968)
  • Great Moghuls (1971)
  • Treasures and dynasties of China (1973)
  • The Christians (1977)
  • Why the rope went tight (1981)
  • Fearless Freddy's magic wish (1982)
  • Fearless Freddy's sunken treasure (1982)
  • Quest for the golden hare (1983)
  • Aesop's fables (1984)
  • How to identify prints (1986)
  • Cod streuth (1986)
  • Bamber Gascoigne's book of Amazing Facts (1988)
  • Castles of Britain (1992)
  • Encyclopedia of Britain (1993)
  • From priceless perfection to cheap charm (1994)
  • Milestones in colour printing 1457-1859 (1997)

quick trivia

  • In 1979 he helped author Kit Williams hide a valuable golden hare to set off the Masquerade treasure hunt
  • His name is an anagram of 'Organise BBC Game'
  • He is mentioned in Monty Python's Lumberjack Song as part of the fictional tree Quercus maximus Bamber Gascoigneii
  • He was played by Griff Rhys-Jones in the 'Bambi' episode of The Young Ones
  • He sued Viz for publishing a book in which they claimed he had contributed a profane quote. They had to reprint 70,000 copies
  • Many of Bamber's books are illustrated with photographs and drawings by his wife Christina

Bamber Gascoigne