Laurence Marks (British writer)

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Laurence Marks
Born (1948-12-08) 8 December 1948 (age 70)
London, England
Notable worksHolding the Fort (1980–82)
Roots (1981)
Shine on Harvey Moon (1982–85, 1995)
Relative Strangers (1985–87)
Roll Over Beethoven (1985)
The New Statesman (1987–92)
Birds of a Feather (1989–98, 2014–)
Snakes and Ladders (1989)
So You Think You've Got Troubles (1991)
Love Hurts (1992–94)
Get Back (1992–93)
Goodnight Sweetheart (1993–99, 2016)
Unfinished Business (1998–99)
Believe Nothing (2002)
Mumbai Calling (2007)

Laurence Marks (born 8 December 1948) is a British screenwriter and one half of writing duo Marks & Gran, his collaborator being Maurice Gran.


Marks attended Holloway Comprehensive School (formerly Holloway County Grammar School until 1955).[1][2] Prior to becoming a sitcom writer he was a reporter for a local weekly paper, the Tottenham Weekly Herald and, according to information he provided to Who's Who, he was also briefly a staff writer for The Sunday Times in the mid- to late 1970s.[3] He also worked as writer/researcher for Thames Television’s current affairs programme, This Week. Following a chance encounter with comedy writer Barry Took, he and childhood friend Maurice Gran got an opportunity to write a radio show for comedian Frankie Howerd, which led to their becoming full-time comedy writers.[4]

Marks subsequently wrote with Gran the TV comedy-drama Shine on Harvey Moon (1982–85, 1995) and the popular sitcoms, The New Statesman (1987–92), Birds of a Feather (1989–98, 2012–present) and Goodnight Sweetheart (1993–99, 2016). They are also the authors of Prudence at Number 10, a fictional diary written as though by a P.A. of UK prime minister Gordon Brown. Their theatre works include Dreamboats and Petticoats, Von Ribbentrop’s Watch, Love Me Do, Playing God, Save The Last Dance For Me, and Dreamboats and Miniskirts.[1][2]

Marks is an Arsenal fan and wrote the book A Fan For All Seasons (1999), a diary of his life as a writer and an Arsenal supporter. He is a member of the Labour Party.[5]

His father, Bernard Marks, was one of over 43 people who died in the Moorgate tube crash of 1975, the deadliest accident on the London Underground. In 2006 Marks made a documentary for Channel 4 about his father and the crash. At the time of the crash, Marks was a freelance writer and in the documentary he stated that he had spent a year investigating the crash for freelance reports that appeared in The Sunday Times. Rejecting the verdict of accidental death by the coroner's jury and the official in-depth report, Marks advocated his theory that the driver of the train had committed suicide by crashing the train.[6][7]

Writing credits[edit]

Production Notes Broadcaster
The Marti Caine Show
  • 5 episodes (1980)
  • 6 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1981)
Holding the Fort
  • 20 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1980–1982)
Shine on Harvey Moon
  • 25 episodes (1982, 1984–1985, 1995)
Roll Over Beethoven
  • 12 episodes (1985)
Relative Strangers
  • 3 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1985–1987)
Channel 4
The Bretts
  • 3 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1987)
Alan B'Stard Closes Down the BBC BBC1
Young, Gifted and Broke
  • 7 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1989)
Snakes and Ladders
  • 7 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1989)
Channel 4
Birds of a Feather
  • 102 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1989–1994, 1996–1998)
Bullseye! N/A
So You Think You've Got Troubles
  • 6 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1991)
Screen One
  • "Wall of Silence" (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1993)
Get Back
  • 10 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1992–1993)
Love Hurts
  • 30 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1992–1994)
The New Statesman
  • 29 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1987–1992)
A. B'Stard Exposed
  • Television film (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1994)
Goodnight Sweetheart
  • 59 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1995–1999, 2016)
  • 4 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran and Nicholas Mosley, 1998)
Channel 4
Unfinished Business
  • 12 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1998–1999)
Starting Out
  • 8 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 1999)
Believe Nothing
  • 6 episodes (co-written with Maurice Gran, 2002)
The Last Laugh
  • "Pilot" (co-written with Maurice Gran, 2005)
BBC Three
Mumbai Calling ITV
Birds of a Feather

8 episodes (2014–):

  • "Gimme Shelter" (co-written with Maurice Gran, 2014)
  • "Hot Stuff" (co-written with Maurice Gran, 2014)
  • "Tattoo You" (co-written with Maurice Gran, 2014)
  • "Back to Zero" (co-written with Maurice Gran, 2014)
  • "Text Santa Special" (co-written with Maurice Gran, 2014)
  • "Birds on a Plane" (co-written with Maurice Gran, 2014)
  • "Guess Who's Coming to Essex?" (co-written with Maurice Gran, 2015)
  • "The Chief, The Cook, His Mum and Her Lodger" (co-written with Maurice Gran, 2015)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Work Category Result Reference
1990 British Academy Television Awards The New Statesman Best Comedy Series (with Tony Charles, Geoffrey Sax and Maurice Gran) Nominated
1991 British Academy Television Awards Best Comedy Series (with Tony Charles, Geoffrey Sax and Maurice Gran) Won


  1. ^ Marks and Gran at Camden New Journal. Retrieved 29 January 2015
  2. ^ Laurence Marks at Old Candenians. Retrieved 31 January 2015
  3. ^ Who's Who 2008, A & C Black, ISBN 0-7136-8555-7
  4. ^ Camden New Journal, 10 May 2007. Retrieved 10 February 2009
  5. ^ Haynes, Gavin (6 May 2017). "Alan B'Stard: 'When Rik Mayall died, we thought the idea died with him'". Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  6. ^ Me, My Dad and Moorgate, 2006, programme details, BFI. Retrieved 10 February 2009
  7. ^ TV review, The Guardian, 5 June 2006. Retrieved 10 February 2009

External links[edit]