Tom Holland to host Tales from the Oval podcast - Kia Oval Skip to main content

Surrey County Cricket Club is teaming up with renowned historian Tom Holland, host of the global sensation ‘The Rest Is History’, to release a brand-new podcast showcasing the extraordinary history of The Oval Cricket Ground.

Over the course of an eleven episode series, Holland and his co-host Jon Surtees (editor of Wisden at The Oval) conclusively demonstrate that The Oval ranks as the most historic sports venue in the world.

As well as telling the stories of iconic cricketers who have adorned the ground, from WG Grace to Alf Gover, and from Jack Hobbs to Michael Holding, the podcast will nominate Surrey’s greatest ever player, captain and team, and select the greatest ever innings and spell of bowling seen at the Oval.

But it is not all cricket! Tom and Jon will also be exploring how The Oval played a key role in the history of football and rugby; has hosted both American football and Aussie rules; and became the first ground in history to floodlight a sporting extravaganza, when torches were erected to illuminate the incredible Victorian sport of Pedestrianism.

There is history too. The podcast ranges from the Middle Ages, when the Black Prince was a regular in Kennington, to the 18th century, when Jacobites and highwaymen were executed opposite what is now the Oval Tube, to the First and Second World Wars, when the ground was requisitioned, and numerous Surrey cricketers distinguished themselves in action.

Tom and Jon will also be playing host to an incredible array of guests – among them, the great West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding, Test Match Special commentator Daniel Norcross, and former England cricketer Ebony Rainford-Brent.

The trailer is released today (Wednesday May 15th), with the first episode to be exclusively previewed at the lunch break during the YouTube broadcast of Surrey’s Vitality County Championship clash with Worcestershire on Friday May 17th.

It will be released onto all podcast platforms and YouTube next Wednesday (May 22nd), with regular episodes following every Wednesday throughout June, July and early August.

Speaking this week, Tom Holland said: “I’ve loved coming to The Oval for many years, so to be able to really dig deep into its incredible history has been something I’ve hugely enjoyed.

“Its claim to be the most historic sports ground in the world is, in my opinion, entirely valid and I hope people will enjoy listening to Jon and I, and some fascinating guests, making this case.

“Also, as well as being a global landmark, The Oval is very much rooted in south London and has been much loved by generations of south Londoners, including myself, so to make this series and help put the history of south London on the map is something I’m delighted to have done!”

Jon Surtees added: “Having worked here for well over a decade, one of things I’ve most enjoyed is showing guests around the ground and watching them delight in some of the extraordinary, but lesser known, tales that The Oval has to tell.

“To be able to showcase these stories to a wider audience, especially in such esteemed company, has been really exciting and I can’t wait for people to be able to start listening to our podcasts.”

The podcast will be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube and all other major podcast platforms from Wednesday May 22nd.