Mark Curry (television presenter)
27 August 1961 |
Stafford, Staffordshire, England
Curry grew up in the mining village of Allerton Bywater near Castleford in the West Riding of Yorkshire. His father, Arthur, a physical training instructor and prison officer, died when Mark Curry was five. His mother, Lily, was a maternity nurse. His television career began when he was seven, after he auditioned for Jess Yates, the executive producer of Yorkshire Television's "Junior Showtime". He was a regular performer on the show from 1969 to 1974. He attended the Jean Pearce School of Dancing in Leeds throughout the early 1970s.
Curry has appeared in many pantomimes throughout the UK. His first was a television pantomime in 1972, "Babes in the Wood", starring Little and Large and Susan Maughan, where Curry and Bonnie Langford were the two babes. In 1976, Alan Parker cast Curry as "Oscar", the producer, in the film Bugsy Malone.
In the late 1970s, Curry presented a Saturday morning TV show for Yorkshire Television called Calender Kids which was only shown in the Yorkshire Television region. He was also a main character in a six episode comedy/drama series about brass bands, "Sounding Brass", for ATV.
Curry joined the Harrogate Theatre Company and appeared in several plays over three years in the early 1980s. In 1981, he co-hosted the series Get Set For Summer on BBC1 with main host Peter Powell and Lucie Skeaping. The series returned the following year as Get Set but eventually became The Saturday Picture Show with Curry as main host, running until 1986. Curry's co-hosts over the years included Deborah Appleby, Maggie Philbin and Cheryl Baker.
Blue Peter: 1986–1989
On 23 June 1986, Curry joined the children's television programme Blue Peter. During his time on the show, he did such things as being strapped to the sails of Outwood Windmill in Surrey and accidentally knocking the head off a man made of Lego.
Curry spent three weeks in Malawi witnessing distressing scenes of people from surrounding villages suffering with blindness and chronic eye problems. He had an eye operation when he was two years old and has to wear spectacles due to only seeing clearly through one eye, so was very enthusiastic about raising money for the charity, SightSavers, which was the Blue Peter appeal for 1986.
He travelled all over the Soviet Union for the 1987 summer expedition and was famous for his history features on the show, his cooking disasters and his performing. Due to Curry's successful children's history programme "Treasure Houses", created by Dorothy Smith and the head of children's programmes, Edward Barnes, he was invited to replace Simon Groom without auditioning for the show.
Curry's co-hosts during his time with the programme were Janet Ellis, Peter Duncan, Caron Keating, Yvette Fielding and John Leslie. Curry was very emotional in 2004 after the death of fellow presenter and close friend, Caron Keating.
The team of Curry, Keating and Fielding during the 1980s was very popular at the time and they became famous for their Christmas song and dance specials. Curry's trip to the Pleasure Beach in Blackpool with Yvette Fielding is regarded as one of the most entertaining Blue Peter features ever. After leaving Blue Peter in June 1989, Curry was offered another BBC 1 Saturday morning show but turned it down, feeling that he had done everything he wanted to do in children's television.
Curry played the role of a TV host in a 1990 episode of the ITV drama London's Burning. He appeared in an episode of the BBC comedy series, "Bread", and when Roy Castle became ill during the mid-1990s, Curry was asked to co present "Record Breakers" for the BBC. Mark played one of the two leading roles in the London West End production of "Woman in Black", in 1994 and starred in the centenary production of, "Charley's Aunt". Curry has appeared in a UK tour of "Noises Off" and in the musical '"Singin' in the Rain'". Victoria Wood cast Curry as "The Compere" in her play "Talent", which she also directed at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London. He played the role of Larry in Sondheim's "Company" and Andre Cassell in "Victor/Victoria", at the London fringe venue Southwark Playhouse in 2011 and 2012. He has also appeared at the Theatre Royal, Windsor in several Alan Ayckbourn plays.
In 1998, Curry presented a DIY BBC 1 daytime series Change That and also hosted the ITV daytime series of the popular quiz show, Catchphrase in 2002. He co-presented a daily, live food series on the Carlton Food Network with Ruth Langsford and later, Anthea Turner. This series saw Curry travel to Italy, Cyprus, India and Singapore, covering food topics.
Curry made a guest appearance in an episode of Last of the Summer Wine, entitled "Will The Nearest Alien Please Come In", broadcast 19 August 2007, playing a character trying to get in touch with extra terrestrials. He was also cast in an episode of the BBC daytime drama "Doctors".
From 9 January, until the late summer of 2012, he presented the breakfast radio show, "Curry For Breakfast" on Talk Radio Europe, the English language talk/variety network in southern Spain, where he has a home. He played a leading role in "Wife Begins At Forty", for Ray Cooney at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford and the Mill, at Sonning in 2011 and 2012 and returned to Sonning in 2013 in the comedy, "Who's Under Where?". Mark is the regular Master of Ceremonies for the Aegon Classic, a pre-Wimbledon women's tennis tournament at the Priory Club, Edgbaston.
He has presented and performed in several BBC Children In Need television shows, once playing Cliff Richard in a Eurovision Song Contest tribute singing "Congratulations" and "Power To All Our Friends".
Curry is a keen tennis player and a qualified tennis coach. He has commentated at Wimbledon for BBC Radio 5, Radio Wimbledon and for Talk Radio Europe.
He featured on the BBC1 quiz show Pointless in December 2012 alongside Peter Duncan. In January 2014, Mark received a diploma in Life Coaching and contributed to ITV's Piers Morgan's Life Stories, discussing his friendship with actress Beverley Callard from Coronation Street.
- "I Love Blue Peter - Mark Curry presenter biography". BBC. Retrieved 2013-03-02.
- Screen Test on IMDb
- BBC: Will the Nearest Alien Please Come In
- Thornton, Michael (21 September 2008). "Mark Curry marries in civil ceremony". Digital Spy. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
- Johnson, Angella (21 September 2008). "Ex-Blue Peter star Mark Curry marries his gay partner of ten years". Daily Mail (London).
|Blue Peter Presenter No. 15
|Host of Catchphrase