Friday, January 1, 2010

Solving history with Olly Steeds

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Discovery Channel premieres January 13!

I’m very excited about this show. It’s kind of a Destination Truth/Indiana Jones/Journalist jaunt to places where some of the last hidden secrets on earth my exist. It doesn’t hurt that Olly's not bad on the eyes, either (I love a man in khakis--dates back to the Professor on Gilligan's Island, I suppose). Admittedly, I'm glad to talk about a new show that isn't a ghost hunting one (can you believe I said that?) I heard "Paranormal Cop" is joining the docket soon (weary sigh).

Description from this site

(Silver Spring, Md.) –- Start 2010 off with Discovery Channel’s new face of adventure. Journalist Olly Steeds is out to find the truth behind some of the world’s biggest mysteries. Premiering Wednesday, January 13 at 10 PM ET/PT, SOLVING HISTORY WITH OLLY STEEDS takes viewers on a heart-pounding, globe-trotting quest.
From the possible sea floor ruins of Atlantis to the uncharted heights of the Andes; from the hunt for Nazi gold to the search for the Ark of the Covenant, Olly throws himself into the story employing hidden cameras, trekking to remote locations, using his devilish sense of humor and participating in ancient rituals. An acclaimed, independent broadcast journalist Olly has reported for ABC News, Channel 4, Al Jazeera International. Part Indiana Jones, part Jason Bourne, part Woodward & Bernstein, Olly is willing to do almost anything for the story.

“Olly Steeds is an exciting new talent for Discovery Channel. An insatiable curiosity, a reporter’s instincts and a thirst for adventure all combine for an original series that fit perfectly with Discovery’s world view,” said John Ford, President and General Manager, Discovery Channel.

The premiere of SOLVING HISTORY WITH OLLY STEEDS finds Olly on the trail of one of the most important religious artifacts in the world. For fans of Indiana Jones, The Ark of the Covenant may be forever cemented in film lore but it is still revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims as proof of God’s presence on earth.

Over 2,500 years ago, the Ark disappeared. Was it destroyed or captured? Could it still exist? Olly explores the plausibility of one of the most exciting theories: that the famous Ark of the Covenant was smuggled out of Jerusalem, through the deserts of Egypt, into Ethiopia and that the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Church — a sect of Christianity millions strong — believes they protect that very same Ark to this day.

Could it be true? To test the theory, Olly explores an underground tunnel in Jerusalem, visits a secret smuggler’s den in the Palestinian territory, treks through the harsh Sinai desert of Egypt, and travels to a remote island monastery deep in Ethiopia. By following hard evidence and finding real facts on the ground, Olly pieces together the legend and exposes startling truths along the way.
Olly’s quizzical mind and general wanderlust has taken him to over 70 countries and include an unexpected 700 mile walk across the Gobi Desert, being hunted down by bandits on the Chinese-Tibetan borders, being chased across the Shangtu Grasslands by The People’s Liberation Army, breaking his arm riding a horse across Mongolia, being imprisoned on charges of espionage, mistakenly running six consecutive marathons across the Sahara, having horses kidnapped by rustlers, studying kung-fu with Shaolin Monks, retrieving video tapes from a kidnapped family in Nicaragua, leading a Royal Geographical Society Expedition to research the Grass Silk Road. Recently Olly has spent a large chunk of each year living with different tribes: the Mek, the Machigenga and the Kombai – one of the last groups thought to practice cannibalism.

Olly runs his own production company Red Space with offices in London and Beijing. He is also the founder of the non-profit iNOMAD and Director of Digital Explorer, a pioneering educational organization that brings the world to classrooms to engage young people in global and environmental issues.


  1. This show sounds exciting. It is refreshing to see something different on TV besides ghost hunting shows. Like you said, Olly is not bad to look at either. I will be sure to add this one to my DVR recording list.

  2. Hey Julie;
    I studied archaeology in college and wanted to major in it until I found out I'd have to dig in the AZ desert at Native American sites. Not that it isn't totally cool, but I hate heat and sunshine, so I opted for English. I think I made the better choice, but I'm still crazy about anything having to do with digging up stuff (must be from all those artifacts I dug up at Aspen Grove as a kid--I still have a metal detector and love to find things!) I'm such a geek!

  3. Wow...what an awesome description and resume! Sounds like it might be a great show. Sounds like the kind of show I'd like to be in if I was going to be in a show!

  4. Jeff;
    I thought it was right up your alley! I was thrilled to hear about it. I've wanted an intelligent explorer inquisitive type to search for these things legitimately. There's so few true explorers anymore and yet sooooo much mystery left in our world.

  5. this looks great! i will watch it!!

  6. yes, this sounds like something i would love to watch! looking forward to it!

  7. HUBBA, HUBBA! I saw the ad for this show a while back but forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. Yeah. I like the kind of outdoorsy guys and the blue eyes--very riveting. If he were unshaven and 6' tall or taller, he'd be a dream!