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Andrew Marr is one of the BBC's most important faces

14th July 2008

Andrew Marr cemented his status as one of the BBC's most important faces with his award-winning History of Modern Britain.

After a five-year stint as the BBC's political editor, Marr's BBC2 history series won awards from the Royal Television Society, Bafta and the Broadcasting Press Guild.

Marr also presents the BBC's flagship political interview show, Sunday morning's Andrew Marr Show, and BBC Radio 4's Start The Week.

Not afraid to speak his mind - although the BBC is rather stricter on its presenters having opinions than it used to be - the former political editor said it was "shameful" how little modern British history was taught in schools.

He also warned Conservative politicians who want to scrap impartiality rules in news broadcasting to be "very, very careful what you wish for". He said the move could lead to TV news becoming "unfair" and "partial", like "people in the tabloid world".

Marr's History of Modern Britain was regularly watched by more than 3 million people on BBC2 and was the sort of modern, accessible factual programming at which the channel should excel. Critics praised him for his ability to "effortlessly communicate his enthusiasm and hint at fundamental truths of the human condition".

Before joining the BBC Marr spent his career in print journalism, including stints at the Scotsman, the Economist and the Independent, which he helped to launch.

He returned to the Independent in 1992, first as chief political commentator, then associate editor and later editor and editor-in-chief. But after overseeing a failed relaunch of the paper he left following a row over funding.

As the BBC's political editor from 2000 to 2005, Marr helped revolutionise its coverage of Westminster, making politics interesting again to a whole new generation of viewers. Now he is doing the same for Britain's modern history.

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