Episode 8. Mark Thomas of Mark Thomas’s Lockdown Check-up

“Mark Thomas has moved back in with his mum for the duration of the pandemic. He’s 57 and she’s 85. He says she’s curmudgeonly; she says he’s the most aggravating person on the planet.”

Mark Thomas, during normal times, is a stand-up comedian, activist and writer. But 2020 changed everything for him (as it did the rest of us).

He returned home, to live with his mum again, during the first lockdown of the pandemic in the UK. Such a set of circumstances would be like gold dust to a joke-hungry comic but Mark took the opportunity to do something more.

In Mark Thomas’s Lockdown Check-up he charts the experiences of his mum and NHS healthcare workers on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic. From his bedroom, which he describes as having “the facilities of a monk’s cell with the charm of a panic room,” Mark calls healthcare professionals across England to discuss their work caring for patients under exceptional circumstances. From the lack of PPE to grappling with the rigid hierarchy of the medical professional, to communication and coping, the conversations seem to carry some therapeutic value for both parties. “I’ve always found the act of creating something incredibly therapeutic,” says Mark.

In this episode of MetaPod, Mark talks to us about what he learned from his conversations with NHS staff and living with his mum during the pandemic.

Honest and heartwarming, but also raw and troubling, Mark recounts the emotions and working conditions that his conversations revealed. He also discusses states of mind and ideal environments for creating and receiving information. You’ll discover his ideal surroundings for creativity include a bit of Vincent Price. Mark also admits how many f-bombs he was asked to cut from the final podcast.

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Show notes for Mark Thomas’s Lockdown Check-up

About Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas is a British comedian and political activist, mixing stand-up comedy, theatre, journalism and “the odd bout of performance art”. Mark has been performing for more than 30 years, has written five books and four play scripts and has even won a bunch of awards – eight in total, three for human rights work and one that he invented himself. Mark is pictured holding his Emerald Eagle Award for Unbiased Journalism.