End of the Pier show beckons for former Weston College student
A former Weston College performing arts student is returning to the resort to take up a job as compère and roaming host on the newly reopened Grand Pier.
A former Weston College performing arts student is returning to the resort to take up a job as comp�re and roaming host on the newly reopened Grand Pier.
Mark Gale, 22, from Yatton, gained a triple distinction on his BTEC Performing Arts course at the College.
He then went to Southampton Solent University, from where he recently graduated with a first class honours degree in Comedy Writing and Performing.
Now he is to look after entertainment on the Grand Pier, introducing events and acts and walking around the pavilion talking to visitors, telling them jokes, going on rides with them and reporting their opinions.
Mark is delighted to have landed the job – and he puts his success all down to Weston College. “I had two of the happiest years of my life studying at Weston,” he said, “and since I've left I've always been pleased to come back and lend a hand with the staging of College-related events.
“I was helping out as a technician during a College Celebration of Success event at the Winter Gardens when I saw that auditions for acts on the Pier were being held in the same building.
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“So I went along and did ten minutes of stand-up comedy. The following day I received an email asking if I wanted to be comp�re, which was a real privilege.”
Mark initially wanted to be an actor, but when he got to Weston College he realised he had a talent for writing and performing comedy. His course tutors encouraged him in this direction, and he was soon writing material for course revues and other shows.
As well as comp�re on the Pier, Mark is also working as a pyrotechnician, and has recently been involved in a huge Bonfire Night event that attracted tens of thousands of people to Southampton's waterfront.
Head of the Performing Arts area Phil Grant said: “It’s always a delight to see our former students excelling in the industry, especially when they are also enriching the local area. Mark deserves all his success and we are very proud to have been part of it.”
Mark describes his comedy as a mixture of Tommy Cooper and Tim Vine. “It's all about unrelenting cheeky but clean gags,” he said. “I love a lot of comedians and comedy shows from the past, and I'm an avid fan of shows like Fawlty Towers and Dad's Army. I think the old stuff is the best!”