Affable, intelligent, playful and handsome without knowing it, Mark is many women’s dream husband. A loveable doofus with a spine and brain, he has a knack for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, which drives his wife nuts, but quietly makes him more loveable than ever.
Considerate but never a push over, honest without “over-sharing” and funny as hell, Mark’s a friendly stranger, loyal friend, attentive father and dependable husband. This is his problem. He tries to be too many things at once and expects to succeed at every single one of them. It’s an impossible task but Mark doesn’t let that get in the way….
Unlike Lewis and Justin, Mark has been doing the stay at home dad thing for a while now, and he’s completely comfortable with it. He’s a great dad, partly because he’s a big kid himself – he sings too loudly in the shower, loves his backyard cricket, his daughter’s boogie board, anything by Roald Dahl. He’s raised Poppy (now 5) since she was born, while his wife, Abi, an emergency department doctor, has continued to work.
Mark could’ve put his foot down and refused to put his career in marketing on hold, but that’s not how he and Abi roll. They’re on each other’s side. He genuinely wants her to succeed. Theirs is a marriage based on equality and mutual respect - and a whole heap of taking the piss out of each other. When they’re not sparring, it’s usually a sign something’s up. Their banter is constant and robust.
When we first meet Mark, he’s returning to the company he worked at before Poppy was born. Four days a week, 10am to 3pm. That way, he can be at the school gate for drop-off and pick-up. It’s the perfect arrangement. The only glitch - the working week is five days, ten hours a day. Juggling family and work commitments soon becomes more complicated than originally thought, especially as it turns out that Mark is rubbish at office politics.
Abi and Mark need to re-negotiate the terms of their deal – and to some extent, their marriage. But like most males, Mark’s pretty bad at admitting he’s not coping. Instead, he lets the pressure and madness of modern life build. He’s been doing the right thing for so long, it may be time to do the wrong thing, just to see how that feels…