For many years the Lebanon was no-go territory, as Hizbollah rampaged around the place kidnapping people, the Syrians fulfilled a long-held ambition to control the place, and the Lebanese themselves destroyed their country and each other.

I am happy to say that things have improved vastly. Hizbollah now leaves tourists alone; the Syrians, although still bitterly resented by many, are a less obtrusive presence; the Lebanese are now working miracles in reconstructing their battered land.

It was lovely to visit the Lebanon this year (2002) and a real pleasure to bring you some footage from one of the most beautiful countries in the world. We begin with a film from Beirut and then go on to a charming swindle.