​​​​​​​"Who could not cherish Mark Coles ? An amiable vividness, an entirely unique radio steel - as thin and magic as water"  NEW STATESMAN 

Who is Mark Coles ? He's a presenter, music and news journalist with more than 25 years' experience working at the BBC. 

He's done the serious stuff, presenting Radio 4's "Today" - the BBC's flagship breakfast news programme - alongside political heavyweights John Humphrys, Jim Naughtie and Sue MacGregor. 

Before that, he did danger zones - working as a reporter covering conflict in Somalia (Sony Reporter Of The Year, Bronze, 1993), Kosovo, Iran, India and other regions.
In 1997,  he hung up his flak-jacket to become the programme's arts correspondent. Much safer. Since then, he's interviewed just about every music star going from Nina Simone and Led Zeppelin to the elusive Tom Waits, Neil Young, Sonny Rollins, Brian Eno, James Brown and Van Morrison. 

"That was a real conversation" - VAN MORRISON

His interview on the Today programme with America's The White Stripes in 2001 helped propel them to global prominence.

"The guy whose report started all the fuss over there" - WHITE STRIPES 

Other big name interviewees include John Updike, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Woody Allen, Morgan Freeman, Spike Lee, Roger Moore and Tony Curtis.

He's done world leaders and politicians too - John Major, Al Gore and Margaret Thatcher... though he accidentally left the "pause" button on while talking to her. 

Mark spent 10 years presenting arts and music programmes 'The Ticket', 'The Strand' and 'World Of Music' on the BBC World Service.  

In 2011, he launched an independent production 'The Shed' - broadcasting from the shed at the bottom of his garden - featuring new music from all over the planet. It aired in New Zealand, Switzerland, the US and online.  

"I'm a big fan of what you do in your shed"- PETER GABRIEL 

He continues to do regular music features and reviews for a variety of BBC programmes including BBC Radio 4's Today programme and The World Tonight. 

He is currently the presenter of BBC Radio 4's 'Profile' programme.
You can read Red Pepper magazine's Profile of Mark Coles here 

Read a Guardian review of 'The Shed'here

Photo by Anna Musial - courtesy of Red Pepper magazine