Mark Dowd was born in Salford, Manchester. He has been a devoted Man United fan ever since he witnessed his father tearing around the lounge with passionate excitement after they secured the European Cup at Wembley in 1968.
Raised a Roman Catholic, Mark read politics at Exeter University before trying his vocation to the priesthood with the Dominican Order at Blackfriars, Oxford in 1981. After realising that the life of a friar was not for him, Mark went on to read International Relations at St Antony’s Oxford and from there used his studies as a way into journalism with The Times newspaper.
In 1987 he started work in TV with Weekend World, then Newsnight and Panorama. In 2001 he left the BBC and went freelance, specialising in presenting programmes on religion aired in prime time TV slots. Amongst his documentary output are Abused and Catholic (2003) and the award-winning Children of Abraham (2004): a three part series for Channel Four looking at inter-religious strife in the post 9/11 world. Hallowed Be Thy Game, (Jan 2005) asked if football was the new religion and featured rare interviews on faith and sport with Sir Alex Ferguson and Michael Owen.
Tsunami: Where was God?: a two hour special for Channel Four, tried to penetrate one of the hardest religious conundrums: belief in an Almighty, benevolent Creator in the wake of suffering and hardship. This programme won the Radio Times best religious documentary of the year award in May 2006. Following this, Mark won the national award for Religious Broadcaster of the Year from the Churches’ Media Council in June of the same year.
In 2007, Mark fronted God is Green, a film which encouraged the world’s faiths to take more of an active lead on the climate issue. In the documentary, the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, was successfully challenged to give up flying for a year. Because of the seriousness of the global warming issue, in January 2008, Mark moved to work full time for Operation Noah, an ecumenical campaigning body based in London.
Mark continues to broadcast on BBC TV and radio and writes for a series of national newspapers.” He also recently qualified as a speech and language therapist.
Queer and Catholic by Mark Dowd is published by Darton, Longman and Todd.