Born in Coventry in June 1961, Mark started his musical career at the age of 13, playing his first concert at the local school. Two years later, Mark was on tour nationally with legendary Coventry punk band, Squad, touring with the likes of The Specials. Their debut single, Red Alert, making Melody Maker‘s single-of-the-week.
At 16, Mark moved to attend college in Bristol and soon created his own band, Stereo Models who went on to record two tracks for the cult compilation album, Avon Calling. He then played with a multitude of Bristol bands before, in 1983, joining Les Gray’s Mud – his first professional gig – with whom he toured extensively for three years. He went on to work with Johnny Hates Jazz on a German TV tour and then settled down as musical director for The New Seekers.
During this time he founded his own band, Red Hot Red, with two friends – his first foray into writing music – and the band went on to gain the interest of Charisma Records founder and Genesis manager, Tony Stratton-Smith.
Mark continued writing and in 2001 attracted the attention of music legend, Harold Faltermeyer (Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun score writer) and was shipped out to Germany to work on his own album produced by Harold. The two got on so well, they started writing together for other bands and in 1993, Mark moved to Berlin to sign a contract as in-house writer for BMG (Bertelsmann Music Group).
Shortly after this, Mark met his writing and producing partner, Rainer Oleak and together they produced bands together, wrote TV advertising jingles and music for films and TV shows, including the national Wernesgrüner advertising theme, Die Legende Lebt and Hollywood epic ‘The New Adventures of Pinocchio‘ starring Martin Landau.
During this time, Mark was also working as a radio producer and produced many Germany-wide syndicated shows. In 1998, Mark won the Niedersächsischer Hörfunkpreis as producer for his special on music legend, Eric Clapton. He also won four awards in the same year in the New York Festivals Awards for some special shows he produced for Berlin’s Jazz Radio.
In 2002, Mark wrote his first screenplay and novel Marcello’s Date (Marcello Marcello). The book rights were sold within 24 hours for an unprecedented sum and put out as one of the biggest books of the season by the publishers. The screenplay was also successfully commissioned twice until Swiss/Italian director Denis Rabaglia took the reigns. It started filming the following year, 2007, on the island of Ventotene, Italy.
The film went on to premiere on the world’s biggest screen in front of 10,000 people at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland and the following year won many awards including Audience Choice Award for Best International Film at the St Louis International Film Festival in the USA.
Following the success of his writing career, Mark moved back to the UK to live in Cornwall. He continued writing books and screenplays and in 2006 was commissioned to write ‘Elimination of Hate, Violence and Prejudice’ Guru, The Scary Guy‘s biography, 7 Days & 7 Nights.
In 2007, disillusioned with the way waste batteries were being disposed of in the UK, Mark decided to do something about this problem locally. The resulting battery recycling campaign grew first into a Cornish concern, involving 58 volunteerrs and (in four years) helped recycle over 50 tonnes of batteries. The then named, CoBRA Scheme (Community Battery Recycling Alliance) then went on to become a national campaign, rolled out in many council areas throughout the UK and subsequently encapsulated a secondary Low Energy Light Bulb recycling scheme in 2010.
The CoBRA Scheme now operates in almost every county in the UK, has won six national awards, a multitude of recognitions from organisations like Rotary Club of Great Britain, and earned Mark one Global nomination for a Katerva Award (considered, “The Nobel of Sustainability”).
In 2012 after five years of running this social enterprise, (and wanting to slow his pace of life somewhat) Mark bought The Harbour Gallery in Portscatho. By the end of the first financial year he had increased the gallery’s turnover by 63% and in July 2013, Mark agreed a partnership with two of the most exciting Eco hotels in Cornwall, The Scarlet & Bedruthan in Mawgan Porth, setting up galleries inside both hotels.
With help from and in partnership with the National Trust, Mark opened a hundred-year-old building, The Old Paraffin Store at St Anthony’s Head, which had laid unused for almost a century and now holds regular art exhibitions, 10% of the takings of which go back into the Trust.
Mark is currently working on a national Art project with the National Trust in conjunction with the gallery, he still administers the CoBRA Scheme‘s hundreds of volunteers, and has just been commissioned to write a new screenplay for one of Germany’s largest Independent film companies.
In his spare time, he is editor in chief of the community website he founded in 2009, Roseland Online (which was recently recognised by the Daily Telegraph as the main online resource for South Central Cornwall), he runs the local youth club, and organises the local cinema at The Harbour Club in Portscatho.