Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain

Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain

Infobox Television
show_name = Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain

caption =
genre = Documentary
series producer = Chris Granlund
director = Tom Giles, Fatima Salaria, Francis Whately, Robin Dashwood, Tom Giles
presenter = Andrew Marr
starring =
voices =
narrated =
titles_music_composer = Robert Hartshorne
opentheme =
endtheme =
composer =
country = UK
language = English
num_series = 1
num_episodes = 5
list_episodes = Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain#Viewing figures
series producer = Chris Granlund executive_producer = Clive Edwards research = Jo Wade, Jo Dutton, Charlotte Sacher, Jay Mukoro
editor = Ged Murphy, Damian Leask, Mike Duly, Rob Moore
Boyd Nagle
location =
runtime = 60 min. (approx.)
network = BBC Two
picture_format = PAL (576i)
audio_format = Stereo
first_run =
first_aired = May 22, 2007
last_aired = June 19, 2007
preceded_by =
followed_by =
related =
website =
imdb_id = 1047142
tv_com_id =

"Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain" is a 2007 BBC documentary television series presented by Andrew Marr that covers the period of British history from the end of the Second World War onwards.


Marr has announced that he will be making a follow-up series covering the period 1900 to 1945.cite web | url= | title=Comedies have the last laugh at Baftas | accessdate=May 22 | accessdaymonth= | accessmonthday= | accessyear=2008 | author= | last=Gibson | first=Owen | authorlink= | coauthors= | date=21/04/2008 | format= | work= | publisher=The Guardian ]



Tristram Hunt writing in The Guardian complimented Marr for his confrontational, argumentative, personalised history stating that television history, done well, should be more of an ice-bath than a comforting, warm soak.cite web | url= | title=The time bandits | accessdate=May 22 | accessdaymonth= | accessmonthday= | accessyear=2008 | author= | last=Hunt | first=Tristram | authorlink= | coauthors= | date=10/09/2007 | format= | work= | publisher=The Guardian ] Gareth McLean congratulates Marr for analysing the times in which he immerses himself, effortlessly communicating his enthusiasm, and hinting at fundamental truths of the human condition which he states is the future of factual programming.cite web | url= | title=Watch this | accessdate=May 22 | accessdaymonth= | accessmonthday= | accessyear=2008 | author= | last=McLean | first=Gareth | authorlink= | coauthors= | date=5/6/2007 | format= | work= | publisher=The Guardian ] He is also impressed that Marr maintains his penetrating scrutiny and level of insight throughout the series.cite web | url= | title=Watch this | accessdate=May 22 | accessdaymonth= | accessmonthday= | accessyear=2008 | author= | last=McLean | first=Gareth | authorlink= | coauthors= | date=12/06/2007 | format= | work= | publisher=The Guardian ] Lucy Mangan exclaims the show shone the light of understanding into hitherto dark and musty corners of ignorance but criticises the final episode for concentrating too much on Blair's "People's Princess" speech after Diana's death.cite web | url= | title=The weekend's TV | accessdate=May 22 | accessdaymonth= | accessmonthday= | accessyear=2008 | author= | last=Mangan | first=Lucy | authorlink= | coauthors= | date=25/06/2007 | format= | work= | publisher=The Guardian ]


A viewer complaint that Marr’s comment on the Community Charge ("Poll Tax") that "Unlike the old rates, it would be payable by everyone, not just homeowners" gave the inaccurate impression householders who were tenants had not been liable for domestic rates. The BBC Editorial Complaints Unit upheld the complaint and promised the error would be corrected before any re-broadcast.cite web | url= | title=ECU ruling: Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain, BBC Two, 12 June 2007 | accessdate=May 20 | accessdaymonth= | accessmonthday= | accessyear=2008 | author= | last= | first= | authorlink= | coauthors= | date=29/12/2007 | format= | work= | publisher=BBC Editorial Complaints Unit ]

Viewing figures


Plot summary

1. Advance Britannia, 1945 - 1955

Britain in 1945; the country is victorious but nearly bankrupt. As Clement Attlee's Labour government sets out to build 'New Jerusalem', Britain is forced to hold out the begging bowl in Washington. Though Ealing Studios produces a series of very British comedies and there is a spirit of hope in the air, the British people's growing impatience with austerity threatens to take the country from bankruptcy to self-destruction.

2. The Land of Lost Content, 1955 - 1964

The 1950s were a period of apparent calm, order and prosperity for Britain, but much of the populace was hungry for change, many began to distrust the government and protestors and satirists led people to question and mock their rulers. In 1961, the liaison between working-class Christine Keeler and Secretary of State for War John Profumo brought the closed world of the British establishment together with the cocky new Britain growing up around it.

3. Paradise Lost, 1964 - 1979

As the 1960s progress, Harold Wilson takes centre stage in a rapidly changing Britain as the country looks to modern technology and a fairer, liberated future. However, the Wilson governments presided over years of industrial conflict, stagnation and decline. As Edward Heath's government ascends to power in the 1970s, British industry is reduced to working a three-day week, electricity is rationed and the country is again haunted by the shadow of wartime austerity.

4. Revolution! 1979 - 1990

The Britain of Margaret Thatcher and comes to some surprising conclusions about the British national character. It was a period of extreme ideological polarisation. Imperial visions stirred again as the fleet sailed for the Falklands. Privatisation and deregulation amounted to a cultural, economic and political revolution. Heroic national rescue operation or final act of self-destruction? An exploration of the extent to which we British are all now the children of Thatcher.

5. New Britannia, 1990 - 2007

Britain enters the uncharted waters of the post-Thatcher era. Many have done well in the end during the Thatcher years but now boom is turning to bust. Britain feels more vulnerable than ever to rapid international change - from the influence of powerful new global market forces to global warming. Just when many in post-war Britain are getting used to the good life, it seems we might have to start giving up our big cars and foreign holidays.


External links

*cite book
last = Marr
first = Andrew
title = A History of Modern Britain
publisher = Macmillan
date = 2007-05-17
isbn = 978-1405005388
url =

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