MARK'S CV

Summary - Mark has been a performer since 1985, he has toured the UK and abroad, has made seven series of his own show for Channel 4, worked as a comic, an activist and a writer. He still just about has a regular column in the New Statesman magazine.

Mark was born in South London on the 11th April 1963. His mum was a midwife, his dad a self employed builder (and ex lay preacher).

Mark went to local primary school and then won a scholarship to Christ's Hospital public school. Where he got some O-levels and A-levels.

He went to Bretton Hall in Yorkshire, in September 1981 and got a degree in Theatre Arts. Did shows in miner's soup kitchens and fund raisers during the strike. Mark still does an annual benefit show for the National Union of Mineworkers in Wakefield.


1985 November First proper stand up gig at the White Lion in Putney on 19th November. Shit. (Not sure if that refers to the gig or Putney - Ed.)

December First paid gig.


1986-89 - Mark stops working with his dad and does stand up full time.

To be honest this period is a bit hazy but 1st Radio gig was Cabaret upstairs for Radio 4 and first TV gig was Friday Night Live (going on about shopping trolley rage and Opera singers, we think - Ed.).

Other TV bits included Paramount City, London Underground.

Becomes a regular compere at the Comedy Store in Leicester Square. Does the things comics do, gigs, students gigs, Edinburgh festival gigs.


1989 - Mark is a weekly regular on the first series of the Mary Whitehouse Experience for Radio One.

Performs hippy gigs in Northern California.


1990 - Founder member of the Cutting Edge weekly topical comedy show at the Comedy Store.

Wins Time Out award for his "distinctive contribution to the art of comedy".

Presents the weekly two hour magazine programme on Radio 5 - The Mix. Mark makes it through live sessions with Julian Cope, interviews with Kurt Vonnegut and the BBCs decision not to mention the war. Leaves after nine months.


1991 - Presents Radio 5 documentary "Sleeping with the NME".

Hosts Radio One topical show Loose Talk, with Kevin Day for series one and two.


1992 - Montreal International Comedy Festival in Canada.

Hosts Series Three of Loose Talk for Radio One (Leaves after this series).

Nominated for the Perrier Award.


1993- Montreal comedy festival.

Regular stand up slot on Saturday Zoo -Channel 4, hosted by Jonathan Ross, alongside Kevin Day, John Shuttleworth and Steve Coogan.

Host for Viva Cabaret Channel 4.


1994 - Mark appears as a regular on Denton the weekly Australian TV show. Unfortunately this is via satellite.

Hosts another series of Viva Cabaret Channel 4.


1995 - Radio 4 series one "Booked!", the satirical literary show- Mark is a weekly regular on the show alongside Roger McGough, Ian Macmillan, Miles Kingstone and Dillie Keane.


1996 - First Series of the Mark Thomas Comedy Product (six programmes). Bets half the last shows budget on a horse and loses ends up making the last show in a friends living room.

Released video- "Sex, Filth and Religion". The video is about sex, filth and religion.

Records Album "Live at the Birmingham Rep".


1997 - Second series of "Booked" for Radio 4.


1998 - Series 2 of the Mark Thomas Comedy Product (7 programmes). Medical cannabis users bum rush Jack Straw's constituency surgery. The series proves that radioactive seagull shit is at large in Sellafield (the clean up costs come to around £1m). Organises a mass paging of Labour MP’s during the party conference instructing MPs to call "encore" at the end of Jack Straw’s law and order speech. They do. Gets viewers asking to see Sir Nicolas Soames (ex Tory Armed Forces minister) furniture that they are entitled to under the conditionally exempt works of art tax scheme. So many people apply Soames ends up paying the tax on his furniture.

Channel 4 Dispatches - "The Lie of the Land". Investigates the con of the wealthy avoiding inheritance tax by making their art, furniture, homes and land available for public viewing- except they hide the information so no one knows about it. Gordon Brown changes the law in the following budget. The Rothschilds end up paying about a million in tax rather than let the hoi polloi in.

Third series of "Booked" for Radio 4 (leaves after this one).


1999 - January saw Series 3 of the Mark Thomas Comedy Product (8 programmes), includes a front PR team at an arms fair in Greece and getting testimony on the use of torture and UK equipment in East Timor. Assists British Nuclear Fuels Ltd by providing a citizens militia to guard they cargos of nuclear waste from Dungeness to Sellafield. Flying a hot air balloon over US spy base in Yorkshire, Menwith Hill.

The series receives a special commendation from Amnesty International at their media awards ceremony.

September saw Series 4 of the Mark Thomas Comedy Product (5 programmes). Mark tries to break sanctions by exporting a teddy bear to Iraq, accosts a civil servant in the gents and checks out the health and safety record of Aldermaston.


2000 - January sees the second half of series 4 of the Mark Thomas Comedy Product (6 programmes). More fun with Nestle who change their labeling for baby milk in certain African countries, MT tries to hand over a troupe of French acrobats to MI5 for breaking the official secrets act and ends up on the front page of the Guardian.

One off programme on the Immigration and Asylum bill for the Channel 4 Kosovo season.

Radio 4 - "Celluloid Psychiatrists" - a four part series where Mark interviews the medical profession about the portrayal of themselves and mental illness throughout film.

Changes name of show - "Mark Thomas Product", does another series. Nestle end up changing the labeling on their baby products in some African states, ambushes a top civil servant in a toilet.


2001 - Series 5 Mark Thomas Product (six programmes) at the start of the year. Discloses the then Environment Minister Michael Meacher’s addiction to property (12 homes and rising), finds out that the Minister for Trade Richard Caborn has asked for civil servants to “dig for dirt on Thomas so he can rubbish him.” Finds corruption in Export Credit Guarantee Department project and makes programme using CCTV footage claimed under the data protection act.

Fact finding visit to Algerian refugee camps, West Saharawis trying to get their country back from Morocco. Britain had recently reequipped Morocco with Howitzer cannons.

Fact finding trips to Turkey and the Kurdish regions.

Presents "Left Bank of the Mind" - Radio 4 series on Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl and Tom Lehrer.

Tours UK with a two hour show called "Dambusters" the story of the Ilisu Dam- show sells out much to the distress of Balfour Beatty and the UK government. Towards the end of the tour the deal for the dam collapses with UK and Italian firms pulling out of the deal.

Laughing Stock CD of the tour - DAMBUSTERS.

Starts writing bi-monthly column for the New Statesman magazine.


2002 - Mark presented with the Kurdish National Congress Medal of Honour and a Human Rights Award from the Kurdish Human Rights Project.

Series 6 Mark Thomas Product (six programmes) including a programme on drug dumping, how to become an arms dealer in 8 days and building an enormous ice dam in the corporate headquarters of a company set to build a new dam in Turkey- company later pull out of the deal. Mark calls it a day with the Product, quietly kills it and leaves after 45 programmes.

Channel 4 documentary - "Secret Map of Britain".

American embassy threaten vengeance on Mark and the Editor of the New Statesman Peter Wilby, after Mark publicly puts a bounty on President Bush of £4,320. The story makes the Today programme. The following week in an act of contrition and admission of wrong doing Mark and Peter increased the bounty to 5 grand.

Is part of the CND team attempting to take the UK government to court over "resolution 1441" and going to war. Lose but were right.


2003 - "Mark Thomas - Weapons Inspector" for Dispatches Channel 4 - makes a nerve wracked visit to the US to investigate their biological and chemical weapons programme and back home tries to make a nuclear inspection at the UK’s nuclear submarine base at Faslane using a peddlo and armed with a lawyer in a wet suit and a copy of the Geneva Convention.

"Mark Thomas - Debt Collector" for Dispatches Channel 4 - a programme on the creation and profit to be made from Iraq's world debt.

Tours UK on the forth coming invasion of Iraq detailing the attempts to get UK government into the dock and the birth of "Los Confetti-istas!".

Banned for life from all Mean Fiddler events and venues for a surprise confetti attack during the Reading Festival.


2004 - Mark is acquitted of criminal damage after he and some friends "locked on" to a bus full of arms dealers.

Addresses the Barnsley Miners Gala on the 20th anniversary of the strike.

Fact finding trips on the trail of Coca Cola to India and Colombia.

Co-curates an art exhibition called Coca Cola Nazi Adverts, this is a collective and growing work that encourages people from across the world to photo shop, draw, print or sculpt on the theme of conflicts with the multinational company.

The exhibition exhibits in the Nancy Victor Gallery in the west end of London, Gallery, the Foundry, Colombia and Ecuador.

Performs a residency at the Tricycle Theatre London and tours the UK with a show about Coca Cola.

Awarded with a United Nations International Services Association Global Human Rights Defender Award.


2005 - Tours UK with Robert Newman.

Newsnight refuse to broadcast an investigation by MT on the Hinduja Group and military supplies to Sudan, after Hinduja Group threatens court action.

Radio 4 series "Mark Thomas Presents" introducing live sets recorded in the UK from Stan Freidberg, the Firesign Theatre, Shelley Berman and Mort Sahl.

Awarded a MISTY, a media activists award from the radical film making NGO Undercurrents.


2006 - Coca Cola Nazi Adverts exhibits in Venezuela.

"After School Arms Club" - Dispatches Channel 4. documentary on arms brokerage laws where 2 schools form arms companies to show loopholes in UK and European arms control laws. Irish government pledge to introduce brokerage laws by the end of the years.

Gives oral evidence to the Quadripartite Select Committee (who have oversight on arms control) on torture equipment and embargoed destinations (the Hinduja Group and Sudan).

Radio 4's Comic Links interviewed by Barry Cryer, in turn Mark interviews Alexei Sayle.

June 06 Publishes First Book, "As Used On The Famous Nelson Mandela", an investigation into the International Arms Trade.

Begins series of demonstrations around Parliament Square protesting against the SOCPA (Serious Organised Crime and Police Act) legislation and the Anti Terror Laws. Protests include demonstrations "in defence of surrealism" and "to reduce police paperwork".

Title of World Record Holder conferred on Mark by The Guinness Book of Records. This is for the "most number of political demonstrations in 24 hours".

Tours the UK on a 60 date tour with a brand new stand up show.


2007 - Channel 4 commissioned a brand new Despatches programme with Mark on the subject of Coca Cola.

Channel 4 Mark Thomas on Coca Cola Dispatches broadcast in November.

Forms "McDemos" the protest company.

Serious Organised Criminal for Radio 4.


2008 - Mark Win's a Sony Award for his radio show" Serious Organised Criminal" on Radio 4.

Second book, "Belching Out The Devil" published - an expose of the Coca Cola Company.

Awarded the Emerald Eagle Award for fair and unbiased reporting.

Completes the London to Brighton Bike Ride.

Made an honorary doctor by Bradford University for services to peace and his contribution as a comedian, political activist, presenter and investigative journalist, in particular in recognition of his effective campaigning on the ethics of the arms trade.