Biz Extra

Published: July 28, 2022 | Updated: July 29, 2022

Best thing about living/working in Dorset? By the beach and the local business community…

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Each week we shine the spotlight on a prominent person in Dorset and ask him, or her, for answers to our part fun/part serious questionnaire. This time…

His childhood hero was Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, he gets angry at people on their phones while driving, chooses a BBQ as his favourite smell and says his biggest frustration is traffic in Dorset during the holiday season.

Mark Francis, Sales Development Manager, Motor Marketing UK, takes the ‘hot seat’ for our popular 20 Questions.

Question: What is your favourite TV show?

Answer: The drama series Stranger Things (I love the 80s vibe).

Q: Who would you like to share a car with?

A: Dave Grohl. The stories this man tells in his book ‘The Story Teller – Tales of Life and Music’ are amazing. I am sure there would be much more to tell.

Q: The best bit of my job is…?

A: Solving problems that the client didn’t realise were there.

Q: And the worst?

A: Not getting a response to an email (Really? It takes two seconds!).

Q: Who was your childhood hero?

A: Easy – Luke Skywalker. I have been a massive Star Wars nerd since before I can remember.

Q: What’s your favourite smell?


Q: Where’s your favourite place in Dorset?

A: A little part of Sandbanks beach right in front of the Haven Hotel looking out to Old Harry.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone starting out on a career?

A: Be honest, work hard, trust your gut instinct and no matter what happens – keep going.

Q: What was your first record/CD?

A: It was probably a ‘Now That’s What I Call Music’ cassette in the early 80s.

Q: What gets you angry?

A: Seeing people on their phones while driving!!! Grrrr.

Q: Do you have a favourite piece of music?

A: Can I have two please? Firstly, ‘The Overture’ from The Phantom of the Opera. I remember my grandad (Pops) bringing back the record when I was younger and playing it full volume at night while flashing the lights on and off! I still get goosebumps listening to it now. Secondly, ‘Everlong’, a song by Foo Fighters (I’m a bit of a fan boy).

Q: What are the qualities you look for in a new employee?

A: Honesty, trustworthiness and willingness to learn.

Q: What’s your favourite food or dish?

A: A good old fashioned roast chicken dinner.

Q: Steamed sponge pudding and custard or a plate of melon?

A: Neither. I am copying Steve Bulley with rice pudding.

Q: Name the best thing about living/working in Dorset?

A: Being by the beach and the local business community.

Q: If you were Prime Minister for the day what would be the first thing you do?

A: I would like to sort housing for the homeless, lower all taxes and fuel prices. Honestly though, I don’t think I could cope with the pressure of being Prime Minister. There would be too much to do and you couldn’t do it all or please everyone, so no matter what you did, you would be hated.

Q: What’s your biggest frustration?

A: Traffic in Dorset during the holiday season.

Q:  Where’s your favourite holiday location?

A: We went to Jamaica a few years ago and loved it. However, I have now come to realise that there is so much more of the UK that I would like to see, especially the North Coast 500 route in Scotland in a camper van.

Q: Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?

A: I tend not to think that far ahead as life is too short and anything can happen, so I like to take each day as it comes and set small achievable goals.

Q: What would you like to be remembered for?

A: A bit corny I know but being a loving partner/husband (getting married next July), being a good dad and having a good beard. In business, being known for doing what I say I will do, being approachable and trusted in the business community.