Neil Oliver prepares for presidential position

Neil Oliver prepares for presidential position. Archaeologist, TV presenter and author Neil Oliver is poised to take on the role of President of Scotland’s largest conservation charity. The National Trust for Scotland today (Saturday 30 September).

Members of the charity will be asked to confirm the appointment at its Annual General Meeting. Taking place in Dundee’s Caird Hall on Saturday 30 September.

In 2005, Neil joined the team on the highly acclaimed BBC2 series Coast and in 2006, he stepped into the role of lead presenter. In January 2017, with Chris Packham, he presented a fantastic three part documentary “Britain’s Ancient Capital, Secrets of Orkney”, featuring the Ness of Brodgar excavations.

Mr Oliver will take over from Lord Lindsay who has held the role since 2012 when he succeeded the Duke of Buccleuch.

Neil has championed Scotland and its heritage

National Trust for Scotland Chairman Sir Moir Lockhead said: “Neil has championed Scotland and its heritage throughout his career unearthing new insights into its stories. Sharing our stunning scenery and fascinating audiences all over the world. We are very excited about the energy, enthusiasm and opportunities for more engagement that he will bring to our charity as we work to protect Scotland’s heritage, and share and celebrate all that we have to offer with more people.”

Sir Moir will offer a formal thank you to Lord Lindsay at the meeting, paying tribute to his huge contribution to the Trust, during a period of change.

Speaking ahead of the meeting in Dundee, Neil Oliver said: “The National Trust for Scotland protects so much of what makes Scotland special. Over the years I have dug up some of its places, visited many more and been completely inspired by it all. I can’t wait to get more involved and I’ll be encouraging others to do the same.”

The National Trust for Scotland Annual General Meeting takes place in Dundee on Saturday 30 September. Also on the agenda for the day are the results of a report looking at how to attract more young people to engage with heritage and a review of the charity’s achievements in the last financial year.

The meeting is being streamed online at

Neil Oliver – biography

Neil qualified as an archaeologist in 1988. His fieldwork experience covers everything from the early Stone Age in Scotland to the examination of the World War II coastal fortifications of Kent and Northern France.

Neil also trained as a journalist, and has also worked on publications such as The Scotsman, The Herald, The Guardian, The Edinburgh Evening News and The Daily Record, providing invaluable experience for when, in 2002, his career as a television broadcaster began.

BBC 2’s Two Men in a Trench saw Neil and his friend Tony Pollard visit historic British battlefields and recreate the battle situation using state-of-the-art technology. To accompany the series he co-wrote two books, Two Men in a Trench: Battlefield Archaeology and Two Men in a Trench II: Uncovering the Secrets of British Battlefields, published by Michael Joseph .

Following this, in 2005, Neil joined the team on the highly acclaimed BBC2 series Coast. In 2006, he stepped into the role of lead presenter. The programme, now with 10 series completed, looks at both the natural and social history of the British coastline.

In 2006, as well as working on Coast, Neil made two documentaries, one for Channel 4, The Face of Britain, and another for BBC 2, Scotland’s History: The Top Ten. He also took part in Channel 4’s Time Team: Big Royal Dig, digging up the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.

Over the years, Neil’s TV credits have been steadily building, including The History Detectives for BBC 2; contributions to BBC1’s The One Show, 2007; A History of Scotland for BBC Scotland, 2008; and BBC1’s Cleopatra: Portrait of a Killer, 2009.

A History of Ancient Britain, BBC 2, came in 2011, quickly followed by A History of Celtic Britain, BBC 2, which tells the epic story of how the Ancient Britons evolved and entered European civilisation. In 2012, Neil presented Vikings, also for BBC 2, a 3-part search for the truth about the Vikings. Neil’s accompanying book, Vikings, is published by Orion Books.

In 2013, Neil was invited by Foxtel to lead a team of presenters on a journey around the Australian coast. Coast Australia was a huge success, becoming the History Channel’s highest rated show to date. In 2015, Neil wrapped up filming on a second series, and in 2016, he presented Coast New Zealand.

As part of the BBC’s World War One centenary season, Neil presented The Machine Gun and Skye’s Band of Brothers, which examined the use of the Maxim machine gun and its legacy within the Hebridean community, and contributed to the BBC’s iWonder interactive online guide to World War One Propaganda.

His other books include Amazing Tales For Making Men Out Of Boys (2009), published by Michael Joseph, A History of Scotland (2009), and A History of Ancient Britain (2011), both published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, and Master of Shadows (2015), published by Orion.

Neil lives in Scotland with his wife and three children and we send him our best wishes.