Mark Wright proves doubters wrong by making it big in America - thanks to One Direction star
And the hunk, fed up with being dismissed in the UK as a “thick Essex boy”, says he would only quit his new Hollywood lifestyle for “the next big Saturday night show” on British TV.
Mark tells how he proved doubters wrong and grabbed his big break interviewing stars like James Corden for the US Extra channel by impressing bosses with his hunger to do the job.
And the reality star, who now rubs shoulders with A-listers like Kim Kardashian , talks of his hectic life enjoying romantic road trips with actress wife Michelle Keegan and having fun with his “Brit pack” including Bo Selecta star Leigh Francis , Baby Spice Emma Bunton and ex- Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon .
Mark says: “Reality shows carry a stigma. You get ‘I can’t take him seriously, he has no talent. He is thick. He is from Essex’.
“I believe proving people wrong is the number one thing. Being a reality star is a huge positive as you are famous instantly if the show is good. But if you want to break away from that, then comes the negative.
“I could have started my career with elocution lessons, only known as a credible, smart TV presenter.
“But I did it through a route which gave me a massive leap – yet also held me back once I was queueing for work with other TV hosts.
“When you do something like I’m a Celebrity people go ‘oh, there’s that boy from Essex who has no talent’. So you have to prove yourself double.”
What helped him was a double whammy in the shape of singer pal Niall – and a split-second decision on an aircraft about to take him back to Britain.
His LA agent got Mark a foot in the door after he saw Mario Lopez hosting Extra and said: “That’s the job I want.”
At an interview with a female boss, he feared the worst at first. “Then she said, ‘I’m gonna give you a chance. You’ve got a week to get a star we’d play on our show. Produce it. Direct it. And interview them’.
"They said the calibre they wanted was Beckham, Corden, One Direction. I’m like ‘s***’.”
Determined to impress, he called Niall, 24, who gave him behind the scenes access to his music video. The network loved it.
Mark says: “I will thank Niall forever. I have got close to him over the last year and he has helped me settle in.”
But Extra bosses only decided to hire Mark full-time after he got off a plane back home to interview James Corden.
“I was at the airport. Luggage in the hold. The producer Teresa calls me and says ‘Mark are you still in town?’.
"I was like ‘I am but I’m leaving now’. She said, ‘Oh, never mind. We had a James Corden interview and we were going to ask you to do it’.
“I get on the plane and something doesn’t feel right. I’m like ‘I’ve got to get off’.
"I call Teresa and I’m like ‘I’m coming back’. I got back to the hotel at 11pm and the next day I interviewed Corden.
“My boss told me, ‘What you did yesterday, that goes a million miles. I knew you were hungry because you got off that plane and made it happen’.
"Now I wake up every day, there is sunshine and I am buzzing to get to set. I feel good and it’s the most I have ever enjoyed work.
He says: “Tonight Michelle and I are driving to Las Vegas. She has always dreamed of seeing Celine Dion.
"I got her tickets for Christmas and through contacts at work I got her a private meet and greet.
“We did a road trip to Palm Springs and we loved it. I do a lot of work from Vegas.
"I will be doing something in the strip and Michelle will be in the spa.” Mark also embraces a healthy LA lifestyle – until his UK pals pay him a visit.
“I see them a lot,” he says. “I saw Leigh Francis. We had a big drink in Soho House.
"When the Brits get together there it f****** goes off. Emma Bunton was with us. It was boozy. We went to a tattoo shop and she got one. It was 3am.”
He’s also struck up an unlikely friendship with Richard Bacon who has become his gym buddy.
Mark admits he has been driven by a self help manual, The Secret.
He says: “I always wanted to be in LA and I don’t know why.
"The Secret teaches you to believe in the law of attraction, and if you think about something happening, it will.”
He certainly sees his future in the States.
“If I get offered the next big Saturday night show in England I would go home to do, it but then I would stay here,” he says.
“I’ve got a great relationship with ITV, but the shows aren’t there all the time plus there’s a pool of hosts so good at what they do. If I was a producer, I’d be giving a show to them too.”
So for now, LA is fine. “Before I would be DJ-ing in Ibiza, then going to Mallorca on Sunday, then doing an interview on This Morning.
“Now it is one job and it is lovely,” says Mark. “I love it here and Michelle is with me now. I’m really happy.”