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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Meet Andrew Marr
Andrew Marr
Andrew Marr: Award winning Journalist and Correspondent

Andrew Marr was born in Glasgow, and educated at Dundee High School, Loretto and Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

He began his career as a reporter for the Scotsman newspaper in 1982, moving to London to cover Parliament three years later.

"I learned first that political journalism was a proud trade based on deep and constantly accumulated knowledge," he says.

"You were expected to study the election statistics, to meet and know the MPs in your area, to read all the new political biographies and memoirs as they came out, and to have enough of a grounding in political history not to make an idiot of yourself by confusing Bevan and Bevin, or Crosland and Crossman."

He was part of the team which launched the Independent, and went on to join the Economist.

He says his stint as the magazine's political editor was the first time he had been properly paid, but after four years he returned to the Independent, becoming its editor in 1996.

He was then a columnist for the Express and the Observer, before being appointed as BBC Political Editor in May 2000.

Although Andrew says he did his best work as a newspaper journalist, he seems to have made the transition to television with unusual ease.

He won a top award from the Royal Television Society in 2001 for his reporting on the BBC Ten O'Clock News and received the prestigious Richard Dimbleby Award at the Baftas in 2004.

Andrew lists his hobbies as reading (he was the chair of judges for the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2001), painting, cooking and remembering his children's names.

Andrew summed up his career in his autobiography "My Trade: A Short History of British Journalism" published by Macmillan as follows:

"I have been a trainee hack, a general reporter, a sub-editor, a parliamentary reporter, a political journalist, a radio presenter, a broadsheet and a tabloid columnist, a hilariously inexperienced newspaper editor, an author of books, a maker of TV documentary and interview series and am now, as the BBC's political editor, a television reporter.

"I have not been a sports reporter or written about dogs and fashion - yet - but I do sometimes write about a guinea pig. I have, in short, done many jobs in modern journalism.

"On the way I've been a near-alcoholic in Scotland, the disloyal 'friend' of ministers and prime ministers, engaged in savage and surreal boardroom rows and learned what to do when the TV camera lights go out and a piercing whistle blows the newsreader's question out of an oversized ear."

"I didn't decide to become a journalist. I stumbled into journalism. I'd done the requisite English degree, played politics, drawn cartoons and learned how to smoke sixty cigarettes a day without being sick.

"I'd started a PhD, washed dishes and been turned down for a job in a second-hand bookshop.

"Despite having a first-class degree and having read an unfeasibly large number of books, it began to dawn on me that I couldn't actually do anything.

"I couldn't sing, act, tell jokes, play any musical instrument, hit, kick or catch a ball, run for more than a few yards without panting, speak another language, or assemble things without them falling apart immediately.

"I was a scientifically illiterate innocent with the entrepreneurial instincts of a thirteenth-century peasant and the iron determination of a butterfly. Journalism seemed the only option."

Award winning programme

Andrew's Sunday morning show stated in September 2005 and has proved a big success.

The show attracts an audience of around one and a half million viewers each Sunday, has featured interviews with the Prime minister and leading politicians each weekend and has created news headlines every single week.

It has attracted top writers, actors, painters and musicians... everyone from Kevin Spacey to Wood Allen. Martin Amis to Annie Lenox.

In its first run, the programme was awarded the Plain English Campaign's prize for "Best National TV programme".

SEE ALSO
Marr quits as BBC political chief
13 May 05 |  Entertainment
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19 Jul 05 |  UK Politics
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