Photograph: Stuart Clarke/Rex Features
I have just found a lovely and touching interview with Mark which was published by the Guardian in October 2010 and in which he talks about his family.
The full interview is here:
Some choice extracts:
"My dad was quite a forbidding figure. Now I'm older I can understand that children need some fear. Otherwise they behave abominably. They need parameters.
I used to think he (Dad) was intolerant and rather bigoted, which he was, but in a very old Labour, north-eastern kind of way. He hated the Tories with a passion, but some of his views were also quite unreconstructed.
I had a girlfriend before I ever had a boyfriend, but it was just a phase. ... I loved her dearly and we had a very nice time, but on the Kinsey scale, I would say I was always predominantly gay.
I was always ready for a serious relationship. I remember 12 years ago going on holiday, sitting in the airport on my own, thinking: "This is meaningless without someone to share it with."
I met Ian online. He spelled everything so well – I said to myself: "This is the man for me." We spent most of our first chat talking grammar.
I admire Ian's patience. I get very cross. I've learned to talk things through with Ian before I do anything I'll regret. We row very rarely. We've weathered several storms but it's not about huge drama any more.
We got married in Middle Temple, in the City of London, underneath a portrait of Edward Carson QC, the man who prosecuted Oscar Wilde. The whole day was replete with irony."