Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain

BAFTA award winning series Andrew Marr’s A History of Modern Britain explores the true story of the extraordinary decades since the end of World War II.

Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain

Drawing on his detailed knowledge of contemporary politics and first-hand experience of the people ruling Britain today, renowned broadcaster Andrew Marr examines the recent epic events which have shaped our country.

From the landmark moments such as the appointment of the first female Prime Minister, to the compelling little details including the post war policemen brewing a cuppa for the very squatters they were sent to evict that reveal the impact of national and international events on the people of Britain, the series travels through the years that took us from victory to despair; from international power and glory to humiliation and decline; and from economic ruin to stubborn new hopes and promises of another new dawn.


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


For many the Fifties is a golden age of apparent order and prosperity, a land of lost content but Britain isn't as calm as it looks, or as strong. Much of the country is frustrated and hungry for change and people are beginning to distrust and question the government. When, working-class girl Christine Keeler meets the Secretary of State for War in a swimming pool one hot summer's evening in 1961, the closed world of the British establishment fatefully collides with the cocky, new Britain growing up around it. The spirit of change is in the air and Britain will never be governed in the same way again.


As the 1960s progress, Britain is rapidly changing, looking to modern technology and a fairer, liberated future. However, the Wilson governments will preside over years of industrial conflict, stagnation and decline. When Edward Heath's government ascends to power in the 1970s, the British industry is working a three-day week, electricity is being rationed and once again the country is haunted by the shadow of wartime austerity.

EPISODE 4: REVOLUTION! 1979 – 1990

The Britain of Margaret Thatcher sees a period of extreme ideological polarisation. As the forces sail for the Falklands, at home privatisation and deregulation are leading to a cultural, economic and political revolution. Is this a heroic national rescue operation or the country’s final act of self-destruction? The impact of the Thatcher years will be felt for a long time to come.


Britain is entering the uncharted waters of the post-Thatcher era. Many have done well during the Thatcher years but now the boom is turning to bust. Britain is feeling 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.