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Dan Snow's Train Delay Playlist

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Ralph Jones
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We caught up with history boy Dan Snow about the juicy juicy cultural morsels that are currently on his plate.

ShortList collar Dan Snow to find out what he’s listening to, reading and watching when he’s not making documentaries about World War II.

Book to read: The Moor’s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie

“I read a beaten-up paperback of it years ago. I fell in love with a girl while travelling in Africa. I found the book in a hostel and I had a steamy affair with this older woman. It felt as though I was living like a character in the book. I later met Rushdie and told him this, and he was thrilled.”

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TV show to watch: Vikings

“I’m loving it. It’s a drama depicting a mythical family, the Lothbroks. They were the first Vikings to penetrate the Mediterranean. They invaded England and started to topple the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England. They went over to France as well. I’m afraid I’m a bit of a geek so I do apply a historian’s eye to it, but I also just try to enjoy it for what it is. I love seeing history realised, seeing what a fleet of Viking ships would have looked like. There are also good strong female characters for my daughters to look at, so that’s good.”

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Must-see film: BlacKkKlansman

“I’m quite liking BlacKkKlansman: very cool, very stylish, darkly amusing. It’s based on a true story of an African-American detective serving in the police, trying to take on the forces of racism. It’s good. There’s real humour in it: comic timing, dramatic pauses. It’s really fun.”

Podcast to download: Justice

“Edwina Grosvenor [Dan’s wife] is a prison reformer and she interviews people who’ve been in prison about what it’s like, and ministers and campaigners about how we can improve the disaster that is our system.”

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Album to listen to: Hamilton soundtrack

“My kids love it. I never thought, as a lover of rap music and 18th-century history, that I would ever be able to combine the two. Hearing Hamilton and Jefferson rap about whether or not to go to war against Britain in the 1790s is a total joy.”

App to download: Ordnance Survey

“I use it all the time. I can roll out of bed when I’m filming and go on an amazing walk.”

WW1’s Secret Shame: Shell Shock is on BBC Two, 9pm on 12 Nov

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Ralph Jones

Ralph Jones is a staff writer for ShortList magazine. In April 2015 he won a seven-foot throne of dildos but he’d rather you didn’t mention it. He performs sketch comedy and is on Twitter at @OhHiRalphJones

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