Mark Ellen

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Mark Ellen
Born (1953-09-16) 16 September 1953 (age 68)
Hampshire, England
OccupationMagazine editor, journalist

Mark Ellen (born 16 September 1953) is a British magazine editor, journalist and broadcaster who lives in West London.

Early life[edit]

Ellen was born in Fleet, Hampshire,[1] England. Whilst at Oxford University in the 1970s, he briefly played bass alongside Tony Blair in college band Ugly Rumours,[2] a band that according to Ellen was created primarily to meet women.[3]


After graduating, he wrote for Record Mirror, NME and Time Out before signing up as Features Editor of Smash Hits in 1981, where he became the editor in 1983. He was the launch editor of Q, the re-launch editor of Select and the launch managing editor of Mojo. He later became the editor-in-chief of EMAP Metro overseeing 14 consumer magazines, but he left Emap after 16 years to join the independent publishing company Development Hell in 2002.[4]

He also has a long broadcasting career which includes contributions to BBC Radio 1 as stand-ins for David "Kid" Jensen and John Peel.[5][failed verification] He presented the BBC's The Old Grey Whistle Test[6] from 1982 to 1987. He also co-presented the Live Aid TV broadcast in 1985.[7]

Ellen was the editor of The Word, a music magazine which he started with long-time colleague, business partner and The Old Grey Whistle Test co-presenter David Hepworth. The first issue was published in February 2003[8] and the magazine celebrated its 50th issue in March 2007.[9] The closure of the magazine was announced in June 2012.[10] His awards include the PPA's Magazine Of The Year for Q and the British Society Of Magazine Editors' Mark Boxer Award in 2003. He won also the BSME's Editor's Editor Award in 2005 and again in 2011.[11][12]

He now collaborates with Hepworth on Word In Your Ear, a series of music-themed live events and podcasts.[13]

In 2014, his memoir Rock Stars Stole My Life! was published by Coronet.[14]

He is a keen diver and cyclist.[15][16]


  1. ^ 7 famous people from Fleet in Hampshire Retrieved 3/5/21.
  2. ^ Kamal Ahmed. "Twenties: Mark Ellen | Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  3. ^ Neil Spencer. "Observer review: The Last Party by John Harris". Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Sony Radio Academy Awards - Judges: Mark Ellen". 17 April 2008. Archived from the original on 17 April 2008.
  5. ^ "News | UK and Worldwide News | Newspaper". The Independent. Archived from the original on 19 February 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  6. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Old Grey Whistle Test, The / Whistle Test (1971-87)". Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Live Aid (July 13th, 1985): Mark Ellen". 17 January 2006. Archived from the original on 17 January 2006.
  8. ^ Ruth Addicott, "Word magazine cover unveiled" Archived 17 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Press Gazette, 31 January 2003
  9. ^ "Word magazine: A bunch of friends and a record player", The Independent (UK), 12 March 2007
  10. ^ Cardew, Ben (29 June 2012). "The final Word: music magazine to close after nine years". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Mark Ellen wins top editors' award". 17 May 2011. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011.
  12. ^ "Rejoice, readers of The Word!". 13 November 2011. Archived from the original on 13 November 2011.
  13. ^ "The Word Podcast – A Word In Your Ear". Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Mark Ellen". Hodder & Stoughton. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  15. ^ "No desert underwater". 2 March 2009. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009.
  16. ^ "Blessed in cyclists' heaven". The Daily Telegraph. 19 May 2007. Archived from the original on 28 May 2008. Retrieved 15 January 2017.