This month, Mark Steel will play to a sell-out crowd at the Stables MK as he tours his autobiographical show, ‘Who Do I Think I Am’? Mark never knew his birth mother, but after his own son was born, he says, “I realised it’s quite an event to have a child, and she may well remember giving birth to me, and maybe even the adoption. So over a 12 year period I tracked her down. She didn’t want to meet me, she told the researcher who contacted her, but she did say who my father was.”
He was the world backgammon champion of 1976. He was a multi- millionaire trader on Wall Street, had been the closest friend to Kerry Packer, and an associate of the Royal family.
That’s the first part of this story. Then it gets more interesting…
We suggest that it’s like something out of a Jeffery Archer novel… “It’s totally insane as a story. It’s like something that’s happened to someone else,” says Mark. “But the pair of them (his parents) have given me a show, so that’s something I can say they’ve handed down to me. And the show is just a comedy show – it’s not a deep psychoanalysis of my life. I’m very content, but nowadays you’re not allowed to be funny or content; it’s perceived to be masking troubled deep inner feelings.”
The show premiered at Edinburgh last year and the tour, which started in January concludes in June. “When I first did the show it was an hour and ten minutes long,” says Mark. “It’s organic though, always evolving. It’s now over 2 hours. You know when the fidgeting starts and the sweet wrappers start rustling that the show’s past its best and you need to wrap it up!”
Although tickets for the Stables’ show have sold out, tickets are still available for the Kettering date. Why not have a day trip to Northants?
Twitter: @mrmarksteel @OffTheKerb
Thur 14 Milton Keynes, Stables 01908 280800 stables.org
Sat 16 Kettering, Arts Centre 07759765824 ketteringartscentre.com
You can read the full April issue of the Bedford Clanger here.