History of Modern Britain, BBC2

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HE may look like a cartoon character but Andrew Marr has to be one of the most charismatic presenters on TV at the moment.

Since he left his post as the BBC's political correspondent, broadcasts from outside Number 10 haven't quite been the same.

Fans have been able to get a fix by getting up early on a Sunday morning but that has hardly been the best timeslot.

But now Andrew Marr is back and presenting a History of Modern Britain in his own inimitable style.

Marr has that great ability - so lacking in so many modern day presenters to both entertain and inform without resorting to any tricks or gurning incessantly at the camera.

This week his BBC2 series took us back the the Fifites, which Marr argued, wasn't the idyllic golden age as we are led to believe.

It was a black and white world of Suez, Harold Wilson and the birth of satire.

The great thing about this series is that you don't have to be a serious student of politics to appreciate it.

There is no need to dumb anything down, Marr simply covers the events and personalities, bringing a bygone era to life and then, using his own insight, putting it into context for a modern audience. *With Big Brother about to dominate the collective conciousness for the next three months, it's reassuring to know that alternatives do exist.

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