What the previous writeups have failed to mention about Louis Theroux is his effectiveness as a journalist. Yes, he gives people lots of opportunities to make fools of themselves (which they invariably do), but his real purpose is much more subtle. He hides his perceptiveness under an innocent, almost childlike exterior and uses this to ask people really nasty questions in a nice way. It is very elegant. He always manages to get past the front that whatever group he is investigating puts out to outsiders, and discovers the true motivation (often money) behind its leaders.

One of his more recent works was a weekend with the magician Paul Daniels and his wife Debbie McGee, and in the weekend he very delicately prised open their happy-go-lucky front to reveal a very vulnerable and fragile relationship. His latest triumph (this will make no sense to American noders) was to be making a documentary on the Hamiltons when the rape investigation started, so for a week or two he was the one everyone wanted to talk to. What he discovered about Neil and his wife has not yet been shown, and because of the incident, now may never be released.