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Amanda Holden and Dan Jones

'It's the best history lesson ever': Amanda Holden and Dan Jones on 'SEX: A Bonkers History'

Image: Amanda Holden and Dan Jones | SEX: A Bonkers History

SEX: A Bonkers History follows Amanda Holden and Dan Jones as they explore how sexual behaviours through the ages have shaped civilisations in ways we are only just beginning to discover.

The show is unlike anything that has ever been taught in schools. It looks at how attitudes towards sex and sexuality have changed over time and what this evolution can tell us about society as a whole. SEX: A Bonkers History premieres Monday, 18th September at 9pm, only on Sky HISTORY.

Speaking to Sky HISTORY, Amanda admitted that doing this series was quite a change of pace from her previous work as an actress, presenter and singer. She had a great time working on it though and enjoyed all of the new parts of history she learned while filming: ‘I constantly love learning. Every day I would come home with a fun fact or something silly about these people that you’ve seen in history books forever. You just can’t believe you’re learning stuff that’s never been said publicly before.’

One of Amanda’s favourite historical figures to cover was Queen Victoria and the ‘passionate love affair’ she had with her husband, Prince Albert. There were a couple of reasons why she enjoyed this section of the show so much. First of all, she was surprised to find out about this more playful side of the monarch who is often portrayed as being ‘austere, fierce-looking and dank’. The second reason is that it was a fun way of ‘humanising royalty’, something that Amanda thinks is a good thing and she’s pretty sure the current Royal Family would agree with her.

Dan Jones, a historian and best-selling author, also welcomed the opportunity to work on a project that was a bit different from what he is used to. However, he did say that there were certain occasions during filming when he felt the need to tell people around him that, ‘I’m a serious historian, actually!’

Between all of the laughs, there is a significant amount of serious, historical information that is being delivered in a memorable way. Dan explained: ‘Sex is a great way of looking at human history because it’s the one historical constant. It’s the one thing that we’re absolutely certain people have done and it connects lots of interesting periods from history.'

Amanda Holden and Dan Jones dressed as a nun and a monk
Image: Amanda and Dan dress up a lot in each episode as they take part in historical re-enactments | SEX: A Bonkers History

He also clarified that it was a fascinating time for the show to be coming out, as we live in a society where sex is seemingly everywhere, but on the other hand, it is still considered taboo. ‘Throughout history, there has always been a tension between people who are interested in sex, and society trying to keep a lid on that instinct.’

Both hosts took part in numerous historical re-enactments in every episode, dressing up as people from different eras and as specific historical figures. In fact, it was one of the main reasons why Amanda wanted to do the show in the first place. Her favourite person to portray was Queen Charlotte as she enjoyed ‘sweeping around the hallways’ in the big Regency period dress. She was even allowed to take the matching wig home, as well the wig she wore while portraying Marilyn Monroe, just in case she needed them for ‘a rainy day’.

Meanwhile, Dan particularly enjoyed finally living out his jousting fantasy. Having previously spent a lot of time writing about royalty in the Middle Ages and making shows about Henry VIII, this was the first time he got an opportunity to try out some horsemanship and fighting. Even though he described it as one of the most physically demanding days of filming he’s ever done, he did manage to gain a new insight into a culture he’s already studied extensively.

However, he didn’t appreciate the practical demonstration with the professional dominatrix too much. Apparently, the winces and grimaces weren’t just for the cameras.

Finally, Amanda and Dan were keen to emphasise how much fun they had while filming and just how unique the episodes turned out to be. They're full of unbelievable facts about how our ancestors lived and are sure to give viewers plenty of fascinating historical anecdotes to share with their friends and family.

Amanda called the show ‘the best history lesson ever’ but also confessed that her worst nightmare was being confronted by ‘smutty old headlines’ due to its subject matter. It seems her co-host, Dan, doesn’t share the same fears confidently describing SEX: A Bonkers History as ‘tongue-in-cheek…literally’.

SEX: A Bonkers History premieres Monday, 18th September at 9pm, only on Sky HISTORY.