Little Britain

Image for Little BritainNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Episode 5 of 6

Duration: 1 hour

Andrew Marr's epic series charting the events that shaped Britain.

For Andrew Marr, the story of Britain in the 1930s was one of betrayal, political extremism, unemployment and... hats. Bowlers, trilbies, top hats and flat caps were everywhere, as the country descended into chaos when the financial crash on Wall Street engulfed Britain. Solutions to the national crisis were offered by Britain's most unlikely paramilitaries, the Greenshirts.

Another way forward came from the Blackshirts, led by Britain's very own pantomime villain Oswald Mosley. With fascists on the march in Europe, Britain perfected the ability to look the other way and hope for the best. Dazzled by Gracie Fields and delighted by Butlins, Britain also had one nostalgic eye on the past, building mock Tudor homes for the new commuter class.

With vivid anecdotes and fascinating archive, Andrew Marr argues that appeasement, not confrontation, was the British way. Only the lone voice of Winston Churchill warned of the horrors ahead. In an age of big, bad ideas, Britain in the 1930s could appear small-minded and reticent, but Andrew Marr invites us to look a little harder and see how 'Little Britain' was tested, and faltered, before finally coming of age as modern Britain was born.


Andrew Marr
Andrew Marr
Francis Whately
Francis Whately
Chris Granlund


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