IT SEEMS almost inevitable that Dan Snow would have a career which combined broadcasting and history, writes JOHN ANSON.

After all he's the son of BBC presenter Peter Snow and leading Canadian journalist Ann McMillan, and his aunt is one of Canada's leading historians.

Dan has become known to millions of TV viewers as 'The History Man' - he's their go-to guy when it comes to discovering more about the past - and it's a role which he relishes.

"I've been so lucky," he said. "I'm one of those people who has been able to work in their area of passion. That means you never work a day in your life really.

"When I’m not filming and working doing history, I’m off with the kids looking at historical sites. It’s all quite seamless really – I am very blessed."

Dan, 40, is currently touring the country on his History Hit UK tour which comes to The Forum at Barrow on Wednesday, March 13 (7.30pm).

During the show he will share anecdotes from his career, answer a few questions from the audience and also present a local element that is specific to each town on the tour. It's a show which he first took out on the road last year and which proved so popular he's carried on with it.

"I was terrified at first," he said. "You always wonder if anyone will actually turn up but it all seemed to go all right.

"I think people are into history at the moment. The world's in a funny old position, it's in a bit of a mess. Everyone’s fascinated about where does everything come from and where’s it all going to. So I talk about that a little bit and about Korea and China and Trump and Brexit and all kinds of stuff. It’s an interesting time."

Unusually for a historian, Dan has a very wide range of interests with his programmes covering everything from the ancient world to modern episodes.

"I've been lucky to make programmes about Tutankhamun and the civil war in Syria," he said. "I’m a generalist - I’ve got a shallow wide knowledge whereas lots of historians have got very deep but narrow knowledge. I’m the opposite, I think it’s a great position to be in.

"It's very rewarding as you are always comparing different periods and looking at different continents and cultures."

Question any historian about why their subject matters and the chances are you will get a similar answer from all of them - that we can always learn from the past.

Given the current state of the world and events over the past 100 years where twice the major countries were at war it's arguable that society fails to learn from its mistakes.

But Dan has a more optimistic view.

"We do make the same mistakes but we also do learn some things," he said. "We no longer have gladiators in the arena murdering each other; no one really argues that slavery is good, we believe that women are equal in society.

"In general we do learn and we have worked out if you want to be a peaceful and happy society you don’t want to walk around the streets armed to the teeth - although the Americans have yet to learn that."

"But certainly, I'm a bit more optimistic than some."

Dan has particularly enjoyed discovering more about the towns he visits on his tour.

"I get in touch with people and they get in touch with me," he said. "People will notify me about a particular collection or interesting item in a local museum or a place of particular interest.

"I’ve got quite a big spreadsheet on the wall with things of interest relating to the tour but there is always something else to learn about."

As well as touring with his History Man show, Dan is also busy with his own online TV channel History Hit TV and will be heavily involved in the BBC's coverage of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

"I'm just trying to take history to a new audience," he said. "There’s a lot of history out there.

"The world’s a very big place and in a way I feel I’ve only scratched the surface. I may have scratched it more than most but there’s still plenty more to go at."