Can you give us some background information about yourself?
I was born in Ipswich and I’m married to my fellow BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Lesley Dolphin. I’ve worked for the BBC for more than 20 years and it’s my dream job. As a child I always wanted to be Tony Blackburn even with his corny jokes! When I’m not working you can find me poking around auctions or on the terraces, shouting for my beloved ITFC.
After waking up Suffolk for more than a decade I now host the Mid-Morning show Monday to Friday. I also get to host Life’s a Pitch a football fanzine with ITFC legend Kevin Beattie every Saturday lunchtime.
How did you become a Radio Presenter?
I always wanted to be a radio presenter but there were no media studies courses in my day. When I told my parents they said “Oh that’s nice dear but why don’t you get a proper job first and get some qualifications.” So I went into the motor trade with a view to one day opening my own garage. For a hobby I ran a mobile roadshow and then became a volunteer at Ipswich hospital radio. Eventually I got wind of BBC Radio Suffolk opening and bombarded them with letters and phone calls. In the end I wore them down and they said I could volunteer on Sunday mornings. So that was my foot in the door and I’ve had it in there ever since!
What happened in those first few months and how did it feel?
I kept pinching myself that I was actually on the radio. I’ll be eternally grateful to certain colleagues who really took me under their wing and helped me adjust to a very different working environment. It was quite a step at 27 to leave a secure job with good prospects and join the media.
You work at Radio Suffolk with your wife, the lovely Lesley Dolphin, what is it like to work for the same company?
It’s great in many ways because we both understand the calls on our time, but it does sometimes mean we end up talking shop too much! When we’re at work we try to leave our relationship at the door but inevitably we get called the Richard and Judy of BBC Radio Suffolk. We’re both fiercely competitive and are lucky to both be in a job we love.
How did you two meet?
We met at work and eventually got married at the Little Chapel of Flowers in Las Vegas. We thought it was all secret but word got out and the ceremony was relayed the next morning on BBC Radio Suffolk.
What is your favourite thing about working for the BBC?
I love the fact that despite its well documented problems people still trust the BBC and come to us for help. Those three little letters still carry a lot of weight and can help us open doors to help others. I also like it on the rare occasions I go to the big BBC in London when I spot the Top Gear team or someone from the One show.
What are the most crucial things you have done to boost your career to date?
I think hard work, always be prepared to do new things and take some risks. Our Don’t be a Tosser anti-litter campaign is a great example of that.
What can we expect from you in 2013?
I’m really excited about the year ahead. We’re planning lots of great things. Watch out for Ginger pride and the BBC Radio Suffolk rubbish diet.
What piece of advice would you offer to those wanting to become a radio presenter today?
Give it a go, what’s the worst that can happen?
And Mark… lastly what do you think of our new ‘Bounce’ magazine?
I love the look of bounce magazine and I hope it becomes a huge success. I’m really chuffed to be included.