The Andrew Marr Show
Also known asSunday AM (2005–07)
Presented byAndrew Marr
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Production locationsStudio E, New Broadcasting House, London
Running time60 minutes
Original networkBBC One
Picture format576i (16:9 SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release11 September 2005 (2005-09-11) –
Preceded byBreakfast with Frost
External links
The Andrew Marr Show

The Andrew Marr Show is BBC One's flagship Sunday morning talk show presented by Andrew Marr, previously the BBC's political editor. It replaced the long-running Breakfast with Frost programme when David Frost decided to retire in 2005.

Originally launched on 11 September 2005 as Sunday AM, the programme was renamed The Andrew Marr Show for the new series in September 2007. Marr interviews political figures and others involved in the current events of the week in every episode. The programme begins with a review of the Sunday papers, for which Marr is joined by two or three different guests. It also features BBC News and BBC Weather updates. The programme shares a studio with Sunday Politics, Newsnight and HARDtalk, BBC World News, GMT, Impact, Global and Focus on Africa.

Previous editors have been Rob Burley and founding editor Barney Jones, whose last show was on 18 January 2015.[1] The title sequence is a pastiche of the television series The Prisoner. The programme moved to New Broadcasting House in September 2012.


The Andrew Marr Show usually features one Cabinet-level UK minister, a representative from the Opposition, one big-name, non-political guest and two or three celebrities or journalists to review the Sunday papers. A guest live music act closes the programme.

Since 2009, notable interviewees have included: Dmitry Medvedev (then President of Russia), Morgan Tsvangirai (then Prime Minister of Zimbabwe), Tony Hayward (then CEO of BP), Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Ban Ki-moon (UN Secretary-General), Michael Caine, Kevin Rudd (then Prime Minister of Australia), David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson.[2]

Musical guests have included: Tom Jones, Sting, Jay-Z, Snow Patrol, George Ezra, James Bay, Rag 'n' Bone Man, Sir Ray Davies, Marc Almond, Jools Holland, Florence and the Machine, Lulu, Boy George, and Sir Elton John.[3]

Marr reviewing the papers with Armando Iannucci and Janine di Giovanni in December 2009
Marr reviewing the papers with Armando Iannucci and Janine di Giovanni in December 2009

Guest presenters

Summer replacement

Guest presenters host the programme through July and it is replaced in August by BBC News at Nine.

The guest presenters have included: Zeinab Badawi, Sophie Raworth, Fiona Bruce, Stephanie Flanders, Huw Edwards, Martha Kearney, Emily Maitlis, James Landale and Jeremy Vine.

2013 guest presenters

In January 2013, Marr suffered a stroke[4] and was replaced by guest presenters. Marr appeared as a guest on the show on 14 April to speak about Margaret Thatcher's legacy, and spoke about the incident and his recovery. Paralysis of the left side of his body was evident, but his speech was unaffected, and he expressed determination to return to the presenter's role. Marr conducted pre-recorded interviews with David Miliband and David Cameron for the editions of 14 and 21 July respectively, and returned to the main presenter's role after the series' summer break in September.[5]

From January until June, there was no fixed cover presenter. The guest presenters who appeared included Jeremy Vine, Sophie Raworth, James Landale, Eddie Mair, Sian Williams, Susanna Reid and Nick Robinson. From 9 June, Vine and Raworth became the regular presenters and began to alternate presenting duties each week. Vine presented the final programme before Marr's return on 28 July, confirming Marr's return for the new series on 1 September. Vine sat in again on 15 December due to family commitments.[6]


Gordon Brown health claims

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown

In September 2009 the BBC received hundreds of complaints over the questioning of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, after Andrew Marr questioned Brown on the health of his eyes, and whether he used prescription painkillers, during a long and wide-ranging interview.[7] Marr asked the question: "A lot of people in this country use prescription painkillers and pills to help them get through. Are you one of them?" Brown replied: "No. I think this is the sort of questioning which is all too often entering the lexicon of British politics."[8]

Public figures and politicians had a range of views on the line of questioning. Ben Bradshaw and Lord Mandelson, both members of Brown's Cabinet, criticised the questioning, with Mandelson saying it showed "personal intrusiveness" and alleged the question was based on false rumours being spread by "extreme right wing" bloggers. Others took a different line – historian David Starkey told Question Time "we have a right to know" adding that Brown's recent behaviour had "suggest[ed] this is a man not completely in control",[9] and former Home Secretary Charles Clarke suggested that Brown's health might have been a reason for the Prime Minister to stand down and that within the context of a long interview, it was reasonable also to ask Mr Brown about his health.[7][10] The editor of the show, Barney Jones, defended the questioning in October 2009, saying:

"We felt that with a general election looming and with former and current cabinet ministers warning of electoral defeat unless the party turned round its current position, a robust interview centred on the economy and the Prime Minister's leadership was appropriate. The former Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, suggested this month that health might be a reason for the Prime Minister to stand down and within the context of a long interview about policy it was reasonable also to ask Mr Brown about his health. The issue of his health and whether it affects his ability to perform the onerous job of leading the party and the country was pertinent, and has been raised with other Prime Ministers in the past."[11]

Andrew Marr himself, appearing at the Leveson Inquiry in May 2012, defending the question as "reasonable", but also regretted asking it, because it dominated newspaper headlines rather than the more serious policy points covered in the interview. Marr said: "I felt we got a lot out of that interview, with some important concessions made on the economy and other things. But the headlines were all about the pills question. It wasn’t worth it." Asked if that meant he did not feel the question itself was inappropriate, he answered: "Correct." Marr also noted that Brown did not seem annoyed by the question after the interview had ended, and that it was only "after about an hour" that he realised he had caused an incident.[8]

Boris Johnson interview 2013

During Marr's absence from the programme, on 24 March 2013, guest presenter Eddie Mair interviewed the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, asking critical questions about Johnson's known past misdeeds – the subject of a forthcoming BBC documentary by Michael Cockerell – including lying to Michael Howard, his party leader, and offering to supply the name of a journalist to a friend who wanted to beat him up, Mair concluded his line of questioning with: "aren't you in fact – making up quotes, lying to your party leader, wanting to be part of someone being physically assaulted – you're a nasty piece of work, aren't you?"[12]

Patrick Wintour, political editor of The Guardian commented that Johnson's "reputation" took "a severe pounding",[13] while Daily Telegraph blogger Dan Hodges said Mair's approach was a "disgrace".[14] Johnson himself said that Mair had done a "splendid job".[15] Johnson biographer and ConservativeHome contributing editor Andrew Gimson said the interview would have "very little [impact], I think it's a storm in a teacup actually" and that "people already knew what kind of a guy he was, and those who liked him will go on liking him".[16]

Penny Mordaunt interview 2018

On 11 February 2018, Marr interviewed the Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt. Following the interview, when he believed he was off air, Marr could be heard praising Mordaunt, saying "that was very good" to her in the tone of a whisper. The technical fault led to widespread criticism on social media, where Marr was scrutinised for what was perceived as his apparent support of the Conservative Party. Rob Burley, the editor of the show, later defended Marr, saying he was "being polite" to Mordaunt.[17]

Priti Patel interview 2019

During an interview about Brexit on 13 October 2019, Marr accused the Home Secretary Priti Patel of laughing. He was reading out a list of industry bodies who had expressed concern about the impact Brexit would have on their businesses, after which he asked: "I can't see why you're laughing." The BBC received 222 complaints and accepted that Patel was not "smiling" but displaying her "natural expression" in their apology.[18]


Viewing figures

The Andrew Marr Show averages around 2 million viewers an episode, representing a 30% audience share.[citation needed]

Rivalry with Sophy Ridge on Sunday

Since its inception until August 2018 the programme was broadcast at 9 am. That month the timeslot was changed to 10 am, in direct competition with rival Sophy Ridge on Sunday on Sky News.[19] The latter show changed to 9 am soon after.[20] The news of the move was broken by a tweet by Andrew Marr to Sophy Ridge, apparently made by accident. It was quickly deleted.[citation needed]

In August 2019 it was announced that The Andrew Marr Show was moving back to 9 am, again in direct competition with Ridge after a year-long "experiment".[21] Sky News immediately announced that Ridge would move to 8:30 am.[22]


  1. ^ "Andrew Marr Show musical highlights". BBC News. 18 January 2015. Retrieved 19 March 2021.
  2. ^ "On the programme". The Andrew Marr Show. BBC News. 20 June 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  3. ^ "BBC One - The Andrew Marr Show - Previous Guests". BBC. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  4. ^ Rayner, Gordon (10 January 2013). "Andrew Marr recovering in hospital after suffering a stroke, BBC says". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Andrew Marr to return to BBC show following stroke". Digital Spy. 28 July 2013.
  6. ^ Maev Kennedy. "Andrew Marr to return to BBC television show in September". The Guardian.
  7. ^ a b Marr's questioning of PM defended BBC News, 3 October 2009
  8. ^ a b Rayner, Gordon (23 May 2012). "Leveson Inquiry: Andrew Marr says it was 'reasonable' to question Gordon Brown over pill-taking rumours". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  9. ^ "Starkey: 'We have a right to know PM's health'". BBC News. 2 October 2009.
  10. ^ n:Minor tears found in Gordon Brown's retina
  11. ^ The Andrew Marr Show, interview with Gordon Brown, BBC One, 27 September 2009 Archived 16 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine BBC Complaints, 12 October 2009
  12. ^ Video on YouTube
  13. ^ Patrick Wintour "Boris Johnson caught in bicycle crash of an interview with Eddie Mair", The Guardian, 24 March 2013
  14. ^ Dan Hodges "Boris Johnson's Eddie Mair interview: if Boris's private life is fair game, then so is everybody else's",, 24 March 2013
  15. ^ Plunkett, John (25 March 2013). "Boris Johnson's father: BBC interview was 'disgusting' journalism". The Guardian.
  16. ^ Video on YouTube
  17. ^ Bulman, May (11 February 2018). "Andrew Marr caught whispering 'that was very good' to Penny Mordaunt". The Independent. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  18. ^ "BBC apology after Marr accuses Patel of 'laughing'". BBC News. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  19. ^ Tobitt, Charlotte (28 August 2018). "Andrew Marr Show moving to new time as part of 'broader revamp' of Sunday programming on BBC One". Press Gazette. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  20. ^ Mayhew, Freddy (29 August 2018). "Sophy Ridge on Sunday to air at 9am on return to Sky News avoiding clash with new Marr show time on BBC". Press Gazette. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  21. ^ Walker, James (2 August 2019). "Andrew Marr Show returns to 9am slot after year-long 10am 'experiment'". Press Gazette. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  22. ^ Tobitt, Charlotte (29 August 2019). "Sophy Ridge on Sunday moves to earlier slot in scheduling battle with Marr". Press Gazette. Retrieved 25 November 2019.