Mark is one of the nation’s most versatile actors, starring in a staggering list of popular TV programmes. Yet despite the long list of credits – you may remember him as Howie in Northern Lights or Eddie in Early Doors – Mark Benton is probably best known for his role as the obnoxious bank salesman in those memorable adverts for the Nationwide building society. Born in Guisborough, Middlesbrough, the former student of the old Sarah Metcalfe School and Stockton-Billingham Technical College showed early talent in his performances in youth theatre productions. He went on to train at RADA and has worked almost non-stop since.
His big break came in 1997 when he appeared in Mike Leigh’s film Career Girls. Since then, he has appeared in TV dramas and comedies such as The Second Coming, Christmas Lights, Early Doors, Murphy’s Law and I’m With Stupid. He gave a memorable performance as the postman in Jimmy McGovern’s The Street and played the part of conspiracy theorist Clive in an episode of Doctor Who. Mark also starred in BBC One’s daytime series Land Girls and recently played reformed con-artist ‘Liability’ Finch in the sixth series of Hustle on BBC One.
On the big screen, he took the part of Dad in Terry Gilliam’s epic The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and he will soon be appearing as a new maths teacher in the seventh series of the BBC drama Waterloo Road. Mark has also performed on the radio, and has a strong background in the theatre along with providing voiceovers for commercials and narrations. In early 2010 he appeared in a revival of Peter Nichols’ A Day in the Death of Joe Egg at Nottingham Playhouse and the lead role in a new festive production of The Wind in the Willows in December 2010 in Newcastle.
Kathy Burke is one of the best-loved and most recognizable writers, directors and actresses of her generation. From creating iconic comedy roles like Waynetta Slob and Perry alongside Harry Enfield, to winning the Cannes Palme D’Or for her lead role in Gary Oldman’s hard-hitting Nil By Mouth and writing and directing her own plays, she has proved herself as one of the most versatile performers working today.
Best known for starring roles in modern comedy classics Green Wing and Black Books and Love Soup, Tamsin is one of the most popular television, film and theatre actresses in the UK. Her onscreen career has also included high profile television dramas like Emma and the Diary of Anne Frank, and starring alongside Matt Le Blanc in Episodes, a major new international comedy from the creator of Friends. She was recently nominated for a British Independent Film Award for her role in Stephen Frears’ latest feature Tamara Drewe.
Onstage, she won a Laurence Olivier award for her performance as Beatrice in the RSC’s Much Ado About Nothing, and has appeared in the Olivier-winning God of Carnage alongside Ralph Fiennes, a National Theatre touring production of David Hare’s Gethsemane, and the critically-acclaimed The Little Dog Laughed at the Garrick Theatre. She has had a long-running recurring role in radio soap The Archers.