Mark was born and brought up in London, England and as a kid he was always interested in the media and in trains. He built miniature TV studios out of Lego & sticky backed plastic. He set up a closed circuit radio station which got piped through to other parts of the family home. He collected old maps of trains and often went out exploring closed-down lines. Aged 14-16 Mark presented a weekly show on the local hospital radio station, collected records and attempted to DJ at local events. A genuine ‘geek’ in the making!
Following early interests, Mark’s school project was on the London Underground in which he painted a revision of the classic Beck inspired Tube diagram. Marks version kept the diagrammatic style but retained the geographic position of the lines: the resulting mess convinced him why Beck was right to expand the central area but helped gain Mark a place at Art College in Southampton. It was there he conceived of an idea to start a ‘what's on’ listings magazine for the area. 'Due South' published from November 1982 but Mark stepped down after just a couple of years as Editor to persue more pressing political interests. He become an activist during the 1984/5 Miners Stirke.
Given his ongoing interest in gay politics and a desire to move to a livelier city, he took a job with the progressive Manchester City Council as an Equality Officer in 1990, delivering training on tackling homophobia in the workplace. Meanwhile Mark developed ideas for a national radio show and scored a huge coup by getting BBC Radio 1 to commission their first ever series aimed at young lesbians and gay men: 'loud'n'proud' in 1993. Mark became freelance journalist and newsreader for Kiss102 from 1994.
He took four months out in London to work on BBC2's first series for lesbians and gays, 'Gaytime TV' and back at Kiss102, Mark fronted the daily entertainment show 'The Word' , became newsreader ‘Peter Parker’ for London’s Kiss100 breakfast show and was promoted to Programme Manager until 1997 when he became full time producer at BBC Radio 1 on the Annie Nightingale show. In mid 1998 he joined MTV as a freelance Music Programmer then became a producer and presenter at Atlantic252.
In early 2000, Mark moved to Ministry Of Sound, helping set up their DAB Digital Radio station, and as Head of Radio at MoS, Mark applied for and won the licence to run a one month long FM version of the station.
Mark moved into consultancy after this and in 2002 he joined a fledgling TV channel as Channel Manager but by this stage had already become wrapped up in the idea of compiling a book that contained the official map of every urban transit system in the world. “Metro Maps of The World” was published in November 2003 and sold out its first run in a matter of weeks. In September 2005 Mark moved to France to focus on his next book about the Paris Metro. Meantime his original publication was picked up by a Dutch Publisher (‘Metrokaarten van der wereld” 2006) and also by Penguin in the USA. The American version, “Transit Maps of The World” was published October 2007. Media coverage was phenomenal and led to unexpectedly high sales, and a Top 100 ranking in the Amazon Sales Charts where it is still often the number one best-selling book in it’s category (Mass Transit)! Mark is hugely proud that his work has become the best-selling book about transport design.
The book on the design of the Metro published in October 2008 as “Paris Metro Style in map and station design”. Penguin US commissioned an American version of it so Mark re-worked the concept, improved the content and it was published on October 24 2009 by Penguin as “Paris Underground, The Maps, Stations, and Design of the Metro”.
Mark's follow-up to the popular transit maps book is 'Railway Maps of the World' published in America in hardcover by Viking May 2nd 2011 and in the UK by Penguin's Particular Books imprint, September 2011.
Mark’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Tube was published at the end of 2012: “London Underground By Design”, published by Penguin UK, was the best-selling (achieved Number 78 in the Amazon Top 100) and best rated (4 and a half stars from 60 reviews) book of all those released for the commemoration. In 2015 an entirely new and revised edition of “Transit Maps of the World” will be released. Mark claims that it doesn't include a single duplicate map from previous editions. He is now working on a French language edition of the Paris Metro book and also a brand new title to commemorate the Centenary of the London Underground font, ‘Johnston’. This will be ready during TfL’s “Transported by Design” year of events (2016-17). With more books on the way!
He lives in London where he also writes comedy and is a freelance journalist.