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Mark "Bez" Berry

Bez and maracas, "freaky dancin'" at T in the Park
Born Mark Berry
18 April 1964 (1964-04-18) (age 45)
Salford, Lancashire, England
Occupation Dancer, percussionist and television personality

Mark Berry (born 18 April 1964), commonly known as Bez or Marky Mark (and occasionally credited as Bez "Bez" Bez[1]), is a British dancer, percussionist and television personality.



He is the son of a police Detective Inspector. He was a member and the mascot of Salford band Happy Mondays, having been invited in by lead singer Shaun Ryder shortly after the band was formed. He is chiefly remembered for his bizarre style of dancing, and use of the maracas - the Mondays' second single was called "Freaky Dancin'" in tribute. He is reputed to have a high tolerance for hallucinogenic drugs. When asked by a music journalist why he took so many drugs he replied simply, "because it's my job".[citation needed]

After the Mondays broke up, Bez became a member of Black Grape, a group founded by Mondays band-mate Shaun Ryder, but he left in 1997 over artistic differences. In 1997, he had a feature on the BBC Two television programme The Sunday Show called Science with Bez. When both faced large tax bills, he and Ryder reconciled and reformed the Happy Mondays in 1998, but the reformed band was short-lived.

A book about his experiences in both bands, Freaky Dancin' (ISBN 0-330-48197-5), was published by Pan MacMillan in 1998. In the opening chapter Bez detailed a revealing incident during a Happy Mondays gig at Manchester's Hacienda nightclub in 1986. In the middle of the set he fell off the stage and cut his forehead. In the book he writes: "The doc tells me to take it easy and put my feet up. I thought, 'I'm not fucking havin' that'. I got some of [lead guitarist] Moose's acid, dripped it in the cut and ran back out with me shakers. Fuckin' raz!"[2] He appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in the UK in 2005, in order to pay off his outstanding tax bills, and was voted as the winner of the series. He was formally bankrupt at the time under his real name.[3][4] He used some of his winnings to improve the engine of his London black cab; the television show Pimp My Ride UK customised it to make it suit him. After the cab was "pimped", it had twenty speakers, eight amps, two DVD players, fifteen TV screens and a camera on the grill linked to one of the screens, the sign saying TAXI on the top was changed to PIMP, and it had purple paint on the outside.

Bez now co-fronts his new band, Domino Bones, with Monica Ward. On guitar is Wags of Black Grape and Paris Angels fame with Rob from the Boo Radleys on drums and the Bodines Winker on bass. Their single "Rattle My Head" was produced and guested on by Shaun Ryder. They were the first unsigned band to be shown on and supported by VH2 and MTV2.

The British popular music newspaper the New Musical Express (NME) carried a series of articles about famous members of bands whose musical contribution to their bandmates' success was negligible. The newspaper used the name "Bez" as a generic label for the likes of Chas Smash of Madness, Andrew Ridgely of Wham!, Paul Morley of Art of Noise, Linda McCartney of Wings, and Paul Rutherford of Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Bez currently lives next to Shaun Ryder in Padfield, Derbyshire and in 2006 was promoting a compilation album called Bez's Madchester Anthems: Sorted Tunes from Back in the Day.

Bez in 2007

The Happy Mondays have again reformed: this is the 3rd incarnation of the group and currently Bez is touring with them. On 2 July 2007, they released their first studio album in 15 years entitled Uncle Dysfunktional.

On 4 September 2007, Bez went head-to-head with royal correspondent James Whitaker on ITV television programme Don't Call Me Stupid and beat him. Bez and James taught each other about their respective specialist subjects: the Manchester music scene and royal etiquette, and then they were quizzed on what they had learnt. This was followed by a general knowledge round. Despite not knowing that the Queen has two birthdays, Bez still managed to win. His prize, as selected by James, was a bottle of posh red wine and a decanter so he didn't have to drink any cheap "poor person's" supermarket plonk.

Bez was again declared bankrupt on 31 March 2008.[5]

He took part in Series 4 of Adrenaline Junkie (aired on 1 October 2008 on ITV2), the tasks involved taking on the world's biggest bungee down the front of the dam which featured in Goldeneye, building his very own ice hotel in the mountains, and undertook a terrifying mid-air jump from one cable car to another.

Fictional portrayals

In the film 24 Hour Party People, named after the Happy Mondays song, Bez is played by actor Chris Coghill.




  1. ^ CD Listing
  2. ^ Freaky Dancin', 2nd edition, Chapter 1, p. 6
  3. ^ London Gazette: no. 57558, p. 1814, 14 February 2005. Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
  4. ^ London Gazette: no. 57694, p. 8741, 5 July 2005. Retrieved on 2007-11-19.
  5. ^ London Gazette: no. 58661, p. 5367, 8 April 2008. Retrieved on 2008-04-17.


External links

Preceded by
Mark Owen
Celebrity Big Brother UK Winner
Series 3 (2005)
Succeeded by
Chantelle Houghton


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