Perhaps my favourite TV programme of the past few years has been the American Presidential drama 'The West Wing', starring Martin Sheen as President Josiah (Jed) Barlet.
I've always been fascinated by the United States - a nation founded not on a common language or religion or culture, but an idea - and fascinated too by its office of President. I can only begin to imagine what it must be like being the leader of the free world: to make life-and-death decisions on a daily basis, be the subject of intense media attention and speculation and to be the human face of what it means to be American.
Unlike so much on television, the 'West Wing' wasn't afraid to address complex issues and contentious debates. It made room for multiple points of view and highlighted both the gifts and the flaws of President Bartlet and his administration. As a viewer, I respect and appreciate that very much.