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Photography by Katie O'Neill & Lilly Shields

Broadcasters Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley - aka Mark and Lard - are best known as presenters on weekday shows on BBC Radio 1 from 1991 to 2004.

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Mark Radcliffe, then a Radio 1 producer, began presenting specialist shows on the network in 1991. During this time, he also hosted Hit the North, a weekly BBC Radio 5 music and comedy show from Manchester with Marc Riley as its researcher, and latterly, co-producer and presenter. In October 1993, the pair transferred to Radio 1 replacing Nicky Campbell, with a late night show from 10pm-midnight on Mondays-Thursdays. The Graveyard Shift featured a mix of comedy sketches, poetry readings, live sessions and guests, including regular contributors such as Mark Kermode, Mark Lamarr, Stuart Maconie, Simon Armitage and Katie Puckrik.

Mark & Lard back together for the Greater Mancunians Shoot

Mark & Lard in their Radio 1 broadcasting days

They had presented the Radio 1 Breakfast show as stand-ins for Chris Evans, and after his departure from Radio 1, Mark and Lard took over the flagship show in February 1997. But low ratings led to the pair being replaced after 8 months. Mark and Lard moved to an early afternoon slot (2-4pm, later 1-3pm) and increased the weekly listenership to this slot by 0.5 million in the first year. Throughout the afternoon show's run, regular features included spoof phone-in quizzes such as It's a Sausage Roll, Circle of Chance and Fish or Fowl. Other items on the show included Downcount, Lard's Classic Cuts and Beat the Clock. During the afternoon show's run, Mark and Lard went on to win three Golds at the Radio Academy Awards. They continued in the afternoon slot until March 2004.


Mark and Lard are also the creators of the spoof rock band the ‘Shirehorses’, who released two CD albums: The Worst...Album in the World...Ever...EVER! and Our Kid Eh. The band toured extensively, playing many small, university gigs to exploit their popularity with students. However, they also performed at larger venues, supporting Blur on a 1997 UK tour and appearing at Glastonbury Festival in 1997.

Throughout their Radio 1 career, the pair produced and broadcast their shows from the BBC North West studios at New Broadcasting House, Manchester… referred to by the pair as 'The Palace of Glittering Delights'.

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The Shirehorses

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THE SHOOT: Lass O' Gowrie, Charles Street, Manchester

Mark & Lard's favourite retreat during the time they presented their weekday shows on Radio 1 from the BBC's Oxford Road studios.

Mark Radcliffe - Biography

(in his own words)

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1958 Born in hospital in Bolton.

1963 - 1976 Goes to Bolton School in blazer.

1976 - 1979 Goes to Manchester University doing English and American Studies. Buys book.

1979 - 1983 Works as producer at Manchester's Piccadilly Radio. Buys Ford Escort.

1983 - 1985 Works as producer at Radio One, London working on magazine programmes, outside broadcasts and John Peel. Buys bomber jacket.

1985 - 1986 Works as Head of Music for Piccadilly Radio. Discovers inherent unsuitability for management roles. Buys Media Guardian every Monday looking for new job.

1986 Joins BBC Manchester to produce Radio One and Two programmes including 'The Organist Entertains'. Buys Casio keyboard.

1990 Presents Hit The North for BBC Radio 5. Buys chutney.

1991 Presents Out on Blue Six and The Guest List for Radio One. Buys terraced house near Stockport.

1997 Briefly presents Radio One Breakfast Show with Marc Riley. Discovers unsuitability for early shifts.

Buys time. Moves to Radio One afternoon show. Stays for nearly seven years. Wins three Sony Awards. Buys convertible. Makes two 'smash hit' albums with The Shirehorses. Publishes memoirs of life in crap bands: "Showbusiness - Diary of a rock 'n' roll nobody".


2004 Joins Radio 2 to host late night show. Receives two Sony nominations. Buys bottle of Night Nurse.

2005 Publishes first novel, the folk club-based 'Northern Sky'. Makes three albums with folk-rock band The Family Mahone and performs to 10,000 people at Cropredy. Buys spicy cider.

2006 Career highlight: wins 'Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes' with a suspiciously Cornish-sounding Shane MacGowan.

2007 Takes pity on Stuart Maconie and agrees to share early evening Radio 2 show. Buys a round.

Mark with musical hero, David Bowie

2009 Publishes best-selling book of memoirs, 'Thank You For The Days', and holds hands with Stuart as they frolic the length of Hadrian's Wall. Wins another Sony Gold Award as he is crowned 'Best Music Broadcaster' at a posh ceremony in London village.

2010 Forms RnB band The Big Figures and goes on tour with one of his childhood heroes, Wilko Johnson of Dr Feelgood. Skips gaily along 100 miles of the Jurassic Coast with that other fella off the radio.

2011 Records first solo album at the age of 53 and publishes another book titled 'Reeling In The Years', detailing the soundtrack to his half century on God's good earth. Launches his bespoke record show 'Mark Radcliffe's Music Club' on Radio 2 and moves with Stuart to afternoons on BBC Radio 6 Music.

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Mark & fellow 6 music broadcaster, Stuart Maconie

2013 onwards Mark took over the presentation of BBC Radio 2's weekly folk programme. His weekday afternoon show with Stuart Maconie was moved in December 2018 to the weekends while he was undergoing treatment for cancer. Stuart had broadcast solo while Mark was away for treatment. Mark re-joined Stuart on a permanent basis in February 2019 and also re-joined to BBC Radio 2 the same month.

Marc Riley - Biography

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Marc Riley was born in Rusholme, Manchester in 1961. He was an early fan of the Fall and worked for the group as a roadie. He was added to the line-up, playing bass, and his recording debut was on the Fall's second single, "It's the New Thing", and their debut album Live at the Witch Trials. He fell out with Mark E. Smith and was sacked in 1982.

Joining The Fall was the second best thing that ever happened to me in my working life. The best thing was getting kicked out.

In 1983, Marc began to record under the name Marc Riley with The Creepers (later The Creepers). He released several albums during the following years. The Creepers disbanded in 1987.

Between 1986 and 1989, Marc drew and wrote the comic strips Harry the Head and Doctor Mooney for the comic Oink!, as well as recording a flexidisc single for the comic as a giveaway.

Marc is perhaps better known as one half of the duo Mark and Lard with fellow DJ Mark Radcliffe, who together presented "Hit the North" on BBC Radio 5. During this period Riley also presented a programme on Radio 5 called Cult Radio, and wrote and produced a BBC Radio 1 series presented by Noddy Holder called Glitter and Twisted. Mark and Lard moved to Radio 1's 10 pm slot in 1993, followed by an unsuccessful move to the breakfast show in 1997, and finally to the afternoon slot in October that year. Their final show on the station was in March 2004.


The Fall, 1981 L-R Karl Burns, Mark E. Smith & Marc Riley

After leaving Radio 1, the duo cordially went their separate ways; Marc moving to BBC Radio 6 Music and Radcliffe to BBC Radio 2. 


Marc now presents the Sony Radio Academy Award-nominated evening show on Radio 6 Music. The much loved show features almost daily sessions from artists chosen by Marc himself.

Student reflection: Lilly Shields


The shoot with Mark and Marc was an amazing opportunity to work with incredible personalities who are Manchester through and through. They were both lovely and very welcoming from the minute I met them, keeping us all amused throughout the shoot.

The photography took place at “Lass O’ Gowrie” pub in Manchester, where the pair would relax after their Radio 1 shows at the nearby BBC Oxford Road studios. We began the shoot outside this photogenic building, first trying to capture the two of them and the pub in the same shot, it was quite tricky to establish the right angle while trying to dodge the passing traffic. Now with pints in hand we finished off outside and moved into the pub to grab more intimate shots of the pair sat at a table. We were keen to reflect their down to earth personalities and their close friendship. These shots set against the backdrop of the atmospheric pub gave us the nostalgic vibe we were looking for.

We separated Mark and Marc for the final part of the shoot to get individual shots. We did this on the quiet side street outside the pub.

Photographing Mark Radcliffe and Mark Riley was a genuine pleasure and produced some wonderful images. Taking part in the Greater Mancunians project is such an incredible opportunity and one I am always very honoured to be apart off.. I won’t be forgetting this shoot anytime soon!


The shoot

Marc, Katie, Lilly & Mark

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