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Mark Billingham was born and brought up in Birmingham. He began his career as an actor, his credits including small-screen greats such as Dempsey & Makepeace, Birds of a Feather, Juliet Bravo and four series of cult children’s classic Maid Marian And Her Merry Men. Whilst continuing his relationship with TV through writing for a variety of shows, he branched out into stand-up comedy and worked all over the world for more than twenty years, appearing regularly at The Comedy Store, as well as on screen with Spitting Image, The Mary Whitehouse Experience and Live At Jongleurs. He has gone on to present widely on TV and radio, hosting shows including Going Live, TV’s Favourite Detective, Passport to Murder, Mark Billingham’s Rule Book of Crime and documentaries on everything from Patricia Highsmith to Columbo. He has also showcased his peculiar and largely useless ability to retain trivia on radio and TV shows such as Quote Unquote, The Write Stuff, Pointless Celebrities, Eggheads and Celebrity Mastermind, which he won, thanks to knowing far more than is healthy about Elvis Costello.
Mr Costello has now rescinded the restraining order…
A Sunday Times number one bestseller, Mark’s first crime novel was published in 2001. Sleepyhead was an instant bestseller and was later singled out by The Times as one of the novels that had shaped the decade. It has since sold over 650,000 copies. Since then, each of Mark’s novels has been a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller. His sales total more than 4.5 million copies to date, and his books are published in over 25 countries.
The series featuring London-based detective Tom Thorne includes The Dying Hours, Lifeless, Good As Dead, Time Of Death and Love Like Blood. Lazybones and Death Message both won the Theakstons Old Peculier Award for Crime Novel Of The Year. Mark’s latest novel, The Killing Habit will be published in June 2018.
An acclaimed television series based on the Thorne novels was screened on Sky One in Autumn 2010, starring David Morrissey as Tom Thorne. As with all TV adaptations, it was different from the book in several respects and Mark received a lot of angry emails from readers. A major six-part series, based on the standalone thriller In The Dark was screened on BBC1 in 2017.
Mark lives in London with his wife and two children. He is currently hard at what is laughably called ‘work’, writing his next novel.