The gospel of Mark…
Late December back in ’63, Mark was born in the little Cheshire town of Nantwich. He sometimes attended Willaston County Primary School, then rarely attended Nantwich & Acton Grammar School, from which he gained only two ‘O’ Levels in English Language and Literature.
At the age of sixteen he served an engineering apprenticeship with BREL but showed little aptitude with a spanner. So when he came of age he downed tools and went to college to indulge his passion for writing. Four years later he graduated from the University of Birmingham with a Masters Degree in Playwriting.
His debut play for the stage, Like it or Lump it, was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1990 and following brilliant reviews he was commissioned to write thirty episodes of the radio soap opera The Colcloughs. He was also winner of a commission from the National Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse Comedy Store.
Later that decade he lived and worked in Rwanda, where for Health Unlimited he pioneered the first ever soap opera in the African Great Lakes Region. “Urunana” (Hand in Hand) is still running on BBC World Service and in March 2018 celebrated its 2000th episode. This was a huge project for Mark and he is particularly proud of his achievements in a very troubled genocide-hit region (use the link in the Menu for more details).
Following his return from Africa he became a storyline writer for Family Affairs, then moved to Coronation Street, where he was senior storyline writer and story editor of over 2000 episodes including the Richard Hillman story which achieved ratings of over 19 million. He has since been Story Producer of Emmerdale, where he devised the flood that also gripped the nation.
More recently he spent twelve months living on a campervan, travelling the UK to write a blog about his experiences (please use the link in the Menu to see the blog).
In his work as Story Consultant, Mark has travelled Africa, much of Europe and further East where he’s given highly motivational talks, story workshops, anecdotal forums and masterclasses. Clients in the UK include ITV, Vizeum, Barclays and many others in the media, corporate and educational sectors.
Mark has been married twice, has four children and two grandchildren. His hobbies include travel, writing, music, playing guitar and ukelele, compiling cryptic crossword puzzles, football, cricket, cooking and playing pool down the pub with friends.