Mark Thomas

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Mark Clifford Thomas (born 11 April 1963) is an English comedian, presenter, political activist and reporter from south London. He first became known as a guest comic on the BBC Radio 1 comedy show The Mary Whitehouse Experience in the late 1980s. He is best known for political stunts on his show, The Mark Thomas Comedy Product on Channel 4. Thomas describes himself as a "libertarian anarchist." [1]

Contents

Biography

Mark Thomas was born in South London. His mother was a midwife and his father a self employed builder (and ex lay preacher).[2] Thomas was educated at Macaulay Church of England Primary School,Victoria Rise, Clapham until 1974, where his party trick was to recite off heart the first verses of the four gospels, and then won a scholarship to the independent Christ's Hospital School, where he attained O-levels and A-levels. He went on to be awarded a degree in Theatre Arts at Bretton Hall College, just south of Wakefield.

Prior to his most renowned vehicle, The Mark Thomas Comedy Product, Thomas was the resident stand-up comic on Saturday Zoo, a Channel 4 comedy series first screened in 1993. He also presented the highly successful BBC Radio 1 talk show Loose Talk and is also a founder member of the London Comedy Store's hard hitting Cutting Edge show.

His political comedy show, The Mark Thomas Comedy Product (later re-named as simply The Mark Thomas Product, to reflect its increasing political agenda) on Channel 4 earned him criticism from politicians but was seen by critics as a crucial investigative tool. In one edition, Thomas investigated the practice of avoiding inheritance tax by declaring art, furniture, homes and land available for public viewing. Thomas showed how Nicholas Soames hid this fact from the public and at the same time avoided paying tax. After being pursued relentlessly by Thomas legitimately asking for permission to see his furniture, Soames eventually paid the tax, and Gordon Brown, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, changed the law.

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