Here's all you ever needed
to know about Mark, in his own words...
Born Lurgan. Trained at Queens, Belfast. Then worked in Development
Training in Cumbria, circa 1992. Then a Post grad in Lancaster.
From 1993 to 2000 I was Director of the Londonderry YMCA. Great
crack altogether with some 20 programmes for children, young adults,
and even the odd oldie. Then went off to Australia for a while.
Came back, resigned from the YMCA, was offered the programme on
Radio Foyle. Life sounds so short when you do that.
What's your Favourite album?
Hard one that. There are so many albums I'd
loath to be without, but for me, the late night road always leads
back to Alison Krauss. The lady just cuts straight to the deeper
questions. She has it all, the voice, the band, the arrangements.
Went to see her in Dublin there …. I cant imagine a concert
being improved on. My chin was on my lap. … Her "Forget
About It" album (Rounder Records) is a pure dream.
What is your most
Apart from surfboards, I have a Lowden guitar that I bought from
the Belfast singer Brian Houston back when I was student. They
can nick the house or the car, but just leave the guitar. [Couldn't
do without me granny either, mind]
What is it that you most dislike?
Winter. Hate it. I go grumpy for 4 months. No light, and the
whole place goes cold, damp and lifeless. The people too - we
go this grey pallor and theres no real crack in us again till
about March. I can thole an element of global warming if it means
we get half a climate out of it.
Who would be your ideal dinner date?
The said Alison Krauss. If we'd no money to pay, between us,
she could sing and I'd wash the dishes. Theres no-one I want to
take out to dinner just now. I'm at that cynical age where men
see the value of eating at home and the simple things like good
company. [Mind you if Zoe Salmon came calling, I'd pay the bill].
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Just getting the gig with the BBC. I'm not brown nosing - I just
love working for this organisation. I like the ethos of public
service, and at the end of the day, the beeb does it better, more
often, than nearly everybody else.
I like it that I've learned to surf in the cold Irish water,
and I'm proud that I live pretty simply, and can stand on my own
two feet in life without having to get others to bail me out.
What do you like most about working at Radio
Radio Foyle is the business. A connected local station based
in a historically and politically unique city. We're so small
but we've cleaned up in recent years when it comes to industry
awards. Despite all the daily competition to get stories and broadcast
material, Foyle really is a team where people share and try to
help each other. It's not usually like that in the media. I love
my job and I know how lucky I am.