Andrew Marr: I'm lucky to be alive

The journalist and BBC presenter Andrew Marr has made his first television appearance since suffering a stroke in January.

Marr told viewers of his Sunday morning current affairs show that he was "frankly lucky to be alive".

He revealed that he was still walking with difficulty, and that his left arm "isn't much good yet", but that his voice and memory were unimpaired.

He blamed a combination of overwork and excessive exercise for what happened to him.

"I had a major stroke, I'm frankly lucky to be alive. I had been heavily overworking - mostly my own fault - in the year before that," he told guest presenter Sophie Raworth.

"I'd had two minor strokes, it turned out, in that year - which I hadn't noticed - and then I did the terrible thing of believing what I read in the newspapers, because the newspapers were saying what we must all do is take very intensive exercise, in short bursts, and that's the way to health.

"Well I went onto a rowing machine and gave it everything I had, and had a strange feeling afterwards - a blinding headache, and flashes of light - served out the family meal, went to bed, woke up the next morning lying on the floor unable to move.

"And what I'd done, I'd torn the carotid artery, which takes blood into the brain, and had a stroke overnight - which basically wipes out a bit of your brain.

"In my case, luckily not my voice or memory or anything like that, but the whole left hand side of my body, which is why I'm still not able to walk fluently - I do a kind of elegant hobble is the best I can manage; my left arm isn't much good yet. I've got a lot of physio still to do."

His appearance was pre-recorded. The live section of the programme continues to be hosted by guest presenters.

But Marr assured viewers that he was determined to return to full-time duties.

Twitter was filled with comments from people delighted to see Marr back on television, including a few politicians and fellow journalists.

Labour's shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna tweeted: "Great to see Andrew Marr just now. Confirmed once he's recovered he'll be back full time. Good!"

Journalist and writer Dan Hodges said: "Great to see Andrew Marr back. Though not if you're head of the UK Rowing Machine manufacturers association..."

Trevor Kavanagh of the Sun tweeted: "Good to see Andrew Marr back and firing on all 12 Rolls-Royce cylinders."