My Place

Metro Radio presenter Mark Thorburn speaks on the people, places and buildings he loves.

Metro Radio presenter Mark Thorburn speaks on the people, places and buildings he loves.

MarkThorburn, 38, lives in the Tyne Valley with his wife, three children and two step-children. He started working in radio straight from college where he was studying electronic engineering.

Mark moved to the North-East in January 1991 and hasn't looked back since. He is currently on Metro Radio from Monday to Friday between 11am and 3pm and Sunday evening on Magic 1152 for Magic at the Movies between 7pm and 10pm.

Where do you live?

Just outside Hexham in a converted barn with my wife and children.

How long have you lived there?

Since 2004.

What's your dream home?

An old rambling mansion where I could pretend to be some eccentric old duffer screaming `get orf my land' or, failing that, anywhere old and in the country - I love the city but would never want to live there.

How do you get around (walk, car, public transport, private jet)?

Car, although I would love to use the local train - problem is it costs too much. So much for getting people out of their cars and on to public transport, too much stick and not enough carrot. I used to fly light aircraft but children can be very expensive so I'm a `resting pilot' One day I'll be back in the air.

What is your favourite part of the North-East?

I adore the Northumberland coast, I'm a bit of a history buff and the combination of sea, countryside and history is very addictive, Warkworth has always been a favourite of mine.

What is your favourite building in the region?

Well aside from the castles, it would be the Lit and Phil near the central station, my wife introduced me to it when I started doing an Open University Degree (History), it's got so much atmosphere and is the perfect place to study.

What is the best holiday you've ever had?

That would have to be my honeymoon, we stayed in the UK and went on a Second World War history tour. I know, it sounds weird for a honeymoon but we are both very much into history and it was a perfect way to spend our days - exploring old airfields and museums. The Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridgeshire, is just incredible; it's a Mecca for all things to do with historical aviation. Believe it or not, it was my wife's idea.

If you could have one luxury what would it be?

Sleep, more undisturbed sleep. We have plenty to keep us busy and a new baby, so please more sleep

What are you working on at the moment?

Plenty, what with radio work and the OU Degree. At the moment the French Revolution, Rousseau's `Social Contract' and the work of the artist Jacques-Louis Davidis consuming a lot of my time (it's the latest OU assignment).

Who or what is the love of your life?

Well apart from my inspirational wife and beautiful children that would be Admirals Nelson and Collingwood - I know another history obsession. I picked up a biography of Nelson a couple of years ago, just because I realised I didn't know much about him, that led to me consuming all things Nelson and local hero Collingwood. My Nelson library is now taking over the living room.

Where is your favourite place in the North-East?

St Nicolas's Cathedral, I regularly pop in and say hello to the Admiral (the bust of Admiral Collingwood). It is a haven of peace in the city. I'm not particularly religious but the atmosphere is intense and its history is overwhelming. A focal point for the city's past.

What is your favourite shop?

I love book shops, particularly second hand ones. A book is more than just its contents and a second hand book has that exciting extra dimension, those who have `trod' the pages before you ... fascinating! Local to us we have Hencotes Books, small but perfectly formed, a real treasure trove, and Priestpopple Books, a great Aladdin's cave of literature - both in Hexham.

What is your favourite restaurant?

La Stalla in Hexham, a no nonsense great value Italian restaurant, they have never let us down. Great food, great service and always accommodating to our brood when with no booking.

Where is your favourite pub?

That would have to be the `Rat' at Anick, it is where my wife and I went after we found out we were expecting a baby girl, it is the place where we decided on her name - Hope.

Do you have a favourite meal?

Roast lamb and all the trimmings.

Are you any good at cooking, do you spend much time in your kitchen?

I'm not bad, no expert but I do like to have a go. Time can be tight so I don't get as much time as I would like. I have done a few Christmas dinners and roasts.

What do you do to relax?

Read and drink the odd glass of wine.

What's the last play or film you saw?

The last play was `Rebecca' at the Theatre Royal, apart from a number of Christmas school productions deep joy! The last film ... Stormbreaker with my son and daughter.

What book are you reading at the moment?

Nelson: A dream of Glory by John Sugden.

What are you listening to on your I-pod / CD player at the moment?

The best of Depeche Mode Vol 1.

What is your favourite TV programme?

Have I Got News For You or Hornblower.

When and where were you happiest?

About 3am this morning - I was fast asleep lovely!

Do you have any wisdom to share?

Recognise that everything will change, you can't stop it, but you can influence the kind of change that happens; try to ensure that the changes are positive for you and yours. It's when you try to resist all change that heartbreak will follow.

What does the future hold?

Do I look like Mystic Meg? Hopefully more time and space with my family, to continue enjoying my work at Metro Radio and finish this bloody degree

Oh yes and to fly again

Don't suppose you have this weekend's winning lottery ticket do you?


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer