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Hello and welcome!

Mary-Ann Ochota is a broadcaster and anthropologist who gained her MA from Emmanuel College, Cambridge University and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Season 2, Mystic Britain, Smithsonian Channel

Season 2 sees me and the lovely Clive Anderson on another jaunt round Britain, finding the weirdest and most wonderful British archaeology we can lay our hands on. It's like Horrible Histories for grown ups. This season we explore Maeshowe in Orkney, the Uffington White horse, strange bodies at Sutton Hoo, the fate of the Picts, Tintagel and King Arthur, Warrior Queen Boudicca, Anglesey and the Druids, the Red Lady of Paviland and Tudor medicine.

Tune in - Tuesdays 8pm in the UK pon Smithsonian Channel (Freeview 57, Sky & Virgin), and Sundays 8pm (from 14th June) in the US.

Secret Britain: Unearthing our Mysterious Past

Britain is full of ancient wonders: small, strange places and objects that hint at a deep and enduring relationship with the mystic. This beautiful book unearths the 75 most intriguing mysteries in Britain. 
These archaeological sites and artefacts take us deep into the lives of Britain's ancient inhabitants - buried treasure, geoglyphs, sacred circles, caves filled with medieval carvings, and trinkets to ward off dark magic. From famous sites such as Stonehenge and Glastonbury to the prehistoric art of Ilkley Moor, the caves of Gower and the mummies of the Hebrides, I explore how these secret places still resonate today.

Out 29th September 2020

Hidden Histories:

A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape


Recommended by The Sunday Times, Trail Magazine, The Countryman, Countryfile Magazine, Geographical magazine, Tony Robinson, Steve Backshall, Tom Holland (selected as New Statesman Book of the Year) and Professor Francis Pryor


Buy the book!


Come to an Event!

 

I specialise in presenting anthropology, archaeology, social history and outdoor adventure.

For me, it's all about discovering and telling people's stories in the most exciting and compelling way - on TV, radio, podcast, in print and in person. From the heart of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster zone, to conflict zones in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the slums of Dhaka, the backstreets of Swansea, and the high fells of Britain's Lake District. 

Mystic Britain Smithsonian Channel (Series 2 on TV now)
Tibet: Living on the Roof of the World Discovery/Sky Vision (coming 2020)
Walking the Iron Curtain BBC World Service (coming 2021)
Why We Cut Men BBC World Service
Britain Afloat: Boats that made Britain
BBC2
China: Time of Xi
Discovery Asia-Pacific
Those Who Came Before
CNN Create/Visit Jordan
The Why Factor: Childlessness, Raising Other People's Kids, Surrogacy
BBC World Service
Keep Digging (the deepest hole in the World)
BBC Radio 4

Life After: Chernobyl, Animal Planet

A Dirty Secret, BBC Radio 4

Best of Enemies: What do the British Think of the Germans? ARD-Alpha

Ancient Impossible, H2: History Channel 2

Unreported World, Channel 4

Raised Wild/Feral Children, Discovery Networks

Britain's Secret Treasures, Britain's Secret Homes, ITV1

The Truth Behind: King Arthur, Nat Geo

Time Team, Channel 4


My second book, Hidden Histories: A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape is a guide to puzzling out some of the features you might spot in the landscape around you - what are those lumps and bumps in that field? Is this an ancient burial mound? How old is that church? Is this a medieval woodland? For countryside wanderers and armchair wonderers, I hope it'll feed your curiousity as a landscape detective!


Get your hands on a signed copy of Hidden Histories

Join me at an event - talks, walks and more!


My new book - unearthing Britain's mysterious past - will be published this Autumn. Watch this space for more details!


I've presented radio documentaries for the BBC and the World Service, including on the regular anthropology series, The Why Factor. I'm a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4's From Our Own Correspondent and Sky News. I also report for ITN Industry News.


I write for the Guardian, Daily Telegraph and other newspapers, write a monthly column for Trail Magazine, and regularly contribute to adventure and outdoors magazines including Geographical, Summit and Countryfile Magazine.

Check out my: Telegraph outdoor travel guides


My first book, Britain's Secret Treasures, was written in conjunction with the British Museum and ITV. It reveals the incredible stories behind 80 archaeological artefacts discovered by members of the British public. Buy your copy of Britain's Secret Treasures here.


I'm proud to be...

a 'Loo-minary' for Toilet Twinning - twin your loo with a long-drop somewhere in the world

a Patron of the Tony Trust, who help fund young people to take part in Outdoor Activities Centres

a Hill Walking Ambassador for the British Mountaineering Council - the mountains are for all

a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society - understand the complex world we live in


I believe anthropology (the study of people, biologically and socially) can help to challenge the most basic preconceptions we have about ourselves and our own society, shedding new light on what it means to be human, and why we do what we do.  Anthropology in your own 'backyard' can be as eye-opening as research further afield!

 

Britain Afloat
BBC2


I absolutely loved making this six-part series exploring how boats have shaped our lives across Britain. It was a journey across the country and into the history of punts, coracles, narrow boats, sailing boats, rowing eights and the Thames sailing barge. I got to grips with these pieces of living history, and met the passionate people keeping the traditions alive.