I have always been a performer. As an actor and stand-up comedian I ran around in silly costumes or told cheap jokes for money, and I firmly believe that writing a book is a performance, albeit of a very different sort. Should you feel inclined to watch, here are a few examples of the more showy-off side of what is laughably called my ‘career’, but has really been a concerted and largely successful effort to avoid a proper job…
Here I am putting people off their Corn Flakes on BBC Breakfast.
I’m thrilled to be a member of Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a twisted collective of musically-inclined crime writers – myself, Doug Johnstone, Luca Veste, Stuart Neville, Chris Brookmyre and Val McDermid – who enjoy murdering songs for fun. What began as a bit of fun after book events has now got a little out of hand and culminated in the band being booked to play Glastonbury in June 2019. I know! Stuart, our amazing lead guitarist was sporting a T-shirt that read: BEST MID-LIFE CRISIS EVER! Here is a clip of us performing in October on a TV show for Sky Arts – playing as a five-piece due to the fact that Val was working in New Zealand at the time. Apologies to Elvis Costello…
For a few* quid and some beer, the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers will happily rock up and rock out at any festival that fancies inviting us.
*To be negotiated, obviously.
The best job I ever had. Playing Gary in the cult kids’ TV show Maid Marian and Her Merry Men, I got to spend four years running about in a forest with a big sword. This clip is from an episode I co-wrote.
Great Lost Albums was a comedy book I wrote with Martyn Waites, Stav Sherez and David Quantick, in which we examined some of the greatest, lostest recordings ever made, that we made up. Liberace’s collaboration with Bob Dylan; Kraftwerk’s Christmas album; Morrissey in panto. Here I am making some stuff up about the great lost Queen album.
This is an excerpt from a documentary I made about the greatest TV cop show of all time. It’s an audio clip, but it’s worth listening to because I interview the late, great Jonathan Demme as well as the man himself, the wonderful Peter Falk.
Talking about my 2016 standalone novel, Die Of Shame.
This is from the George Stroumboulopoulos show on Canadian TV. It’s a feature where guests are invited to let rip and complain, so I decided to get on my high horse and sound off about something that really winds me up…
Like a great many crime writers (mostly the male ones) I’m a frustrated rock star. I got to live out this fantasy when I collaborated with the wonderful country duo My Darling Clementine. We recorded an album and toured a show called The Other Half and this is a clip of the show’s finale, where I finally got to strap on an axe (guitar) and sing (wail) a country classic. My apologies.
Recorded at the Edinburgh Book Festival, I fess up about those parts of an author’s life that, for very good reasons, are rarely talked about.
To view more videos of Mark, check out his YouTube channel.