For over a decade the Cambridge classicist has been bringing the Romans to life through her much-loved TV programmes for the BBC. Her scholarly but accessible style has made her hugely popular in print and on the screen, from Meet The Romans to her 2015 bestseller SPQR.

She is equally admired for her refusal to tolerate misogynistic online abuse. Her most recent book, Women & Power: A Manifesto, provided a historical perspective on the abuse of women in the public sphere and was hailed as a modern feminist classic.

This Spring she returns with Civilisations a major new series inspired by Kenneth Clark's 1960s landmark programmes. Co-presented by Beard, David Olusoga and Simon Schama, the programmes will introduce a new generation to the history of art around the globe.

Charlotte Higgins, the Guardian's chief culture writer and author of Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain, has been working on a major new profile of Mary for the Guardian Long Read. They will reunite for this Guardian Live event in London, to discuss Beard's writing, broadcasting and role as a public intellectual.