Biography

Panama Park 1

PANAMA PARK

MARK was born in Croxley Green, Hertfordshire. His family soon moved to Surrey where he attended Surbiton Grammar School, before going on to complete a Foundation course at Wimbledon School of Art. Initially considering a future as a costume designer, he turned down an offer to study sculpture at Canterbury, choosing instead to pursue a musical career with the bands Scion, T Shirts and Panama Park.

Early Scion

SCION

After spending a year as sports editor of the Esher News & Mail, Mark became a sound engineer at Dick James Music Studios in Holborn, where he worked with artists including Haircut 100, Patti Palladin, Genesis P. Orridge and Soft Cell’s Dave Ball. His first credit was on the EP of the infamous Troggs Tapes, which was released by DJM Records in 1983.

GodstarTroggs Tapes

During his two years at DJM, Mark engineered the soundtrack to Derek Jarman’s short film Imagining October, worked on the album Stakk Attakk by the Worcestershire glam rock outfit Wrathchild and was listed as one of the “Angels of Light” on  the Psychic TV single Godstar.

When DJM Studios closed at the end of 1984, Mark set up an 8-track studio at home and began composing soundtracks. His first commission was a corporate video for  the aerospace company Hawker Siddeley and a variety of work followed, including television, video, radio, library music, commercials and live events.

His fanfare was played at the Duke of Edinburgh’s 70th birthday party at Windsor Castle, he wrote the theme and presentation music for the first Mercury Music Prize in 1992, while his Vivaldi-esque piece The Four Seasonings was the signature tune for Nathalie Dupree’s cooking show on PBS in America.

George Best VHSFlesh_BloodBritish Army VHSCheat at Golf VHS

In 1994 he met James Richardson, a leading producer working in the English language teaching sector, and a collaboration began that has so far produced over 2,500 songs for children from Argentina to Slovenia. Other children’s projects include Little Genius and Brainiacs for Spain, sound effects for a Japanese App and songs to accompany educational craft kits produced by Devon-based company The Feathered Snake.

Robby RabbitCheeky Monkey

In the nineties, he produced a series of interviews for radio syndication, including Spike Milligan, French and Saunders, Charlie Chester, Dave Edmunds, Elizabeth Welch and Jon Pertwee. Forming a team with ex Capital Radio and LBC presenter Mike Allen, Mark went on to become the question master for The Accumulator Quiz on Allen’s late night Talk Radio show.Skiing book

As a journalist, Mark has written numerous magazine articles, most recently a feature on EastEnders composer Simon May. He was one of the writers on Anorak, a lighthearted daily online magazine for Reuters, while also working on books about skiing and scuba diving by Anneka Rice. 

Since 2006, Mark has written the script and produced the audio for the A/V presentation at the Ivor Novello Awards … the “Songwriting Oscars”. He has written and produced several premium rate telephone services, including the Budweiser American Football Line, American Heartbeat, the Daily Mail Ski Line and the Sun’s Bizarre Jukebox, which he also voiced for 10 years. 

Involved with writer organisations and music politics for almost 25 years, he has served as a director of BASCA and also British Music Rights, the lobbying body for the copyright industry and forerunner of UK Music. In 2014, he was honoured to be asked to join the management committee of the PRS Members Benevolent Fund.

Continuing to play live with the bands Tournament and Cheques in the Post, he has performed at venues including The Dorchester, the Natural History Museum, Villa Park, London Zoo, The Kia Oval and on the beach in Cannes. In 2014, he joined Pop-Up Bowie, fronted by the award-winning and uncanny David Bowie double Paul Antony.

Pop-Up Bowie