|First appearance - Warring Factions|
|Latest appearance - Quantocking II|
|Lives at - The Flat, Croydon, London|
|Interests - History, Books, TV, WW2 Computer Games|
|Relationship - Sophie, Saz, Dobby|
Mark Corrigan is one of the two protagonists in the television series Peep Show, and he is portrayed by David Mitchell.
Mark Corrigan is the owner of the flat that he shares with Jeremy, in the outskirts of Croydon, South London. He is sensible and careful, but often has moments of impulsive and erratic behaviour. He appears to have had a somewhat miserable upbringing, with a domineering father, and some infidelity by both parents. He is a graduate in Business Studies from Dartmouth University, where he met Jeremy. He achieved 7 GCSEs, and he has a love of history, especially ancient history - which he originally wanted to study at university, before being coerced by his parents into reading Business Studies instead - and modern military history.
Mark is conscious of Jeremy's intellectual inferiority, but still looks to him for social guidance, as he is extremely socially awkward. Mark is plagued by paranoia as to how others perceive him, and doubts over whether his actions are normal. He is very reactionary and at times appears to be rather Euro-sceptic. He is often unable to grasp how modern society operates, and simply endures activities that others seem to enjoy. Mark's infatuation and relationship with Sophie is a major theme of the first four series. Following their disastrous wedding and break-up, he pursues a series of other women during Series 5, wondering whether each could be "the one".
Character History Edit
If the class reunion invite in "Handyman" is to be believed, Mark was born in 1973. He attended Exbourne School in Shropshire until his father's British Aerospace shares crashed and he was forced to attend the state-run Fitzalan Comprehensive School. This sudden change from private to state school is believed to have left him somewhat socially damaged. He later attended the fictional Dartmouth University, where, despite wanting to study ancient history, he was forced by his family to take Business Studies. He has a sister, Sarah, a solicitor who shares a great deal of Mark's social shortcomings. Mark is currently living with best (perhaps only) friend Jeremy, whom he met at university. Together they sometimes call themselves the "El Dude Brothers"; this name dates back to their days at university, but is now usually only invoked when one of them wants to appeal to the support of the other, against their better judgement.
Unlike the work-shy Jeremy, Mark is conscientious about his job, though his experience of it is dominated by two figures: smooth-talking boss Alan Johnson, who seems to view Mark as something of a malleable protege; and Sophie Chapman. Sophie was originally the object of Mark's rather neurotic affection, although in series three they become a couple and Mark quickly realises his obsession with her was misguided. At the finale of series four, they marry, largely because neither has the strength to admit they want to cancel the engagement. Immediately after the wedding, Sophie has a nervous breakdown and runs from the car screaming "He's horrible!".
Mark is very much a social reject; he is paranoid about nearly everything, thinks too much (usually for the worst) and worries endlessly about wanting to seem normal, something he never quite manages to do (indeed, his constant worrying about this suggests he has accepted that is not normal). In practice, he spends most of his time in series 1 & 2 obsessing about Sophie, then in series 3 and 4, worrying about his ever-worsening relationship with her and much of series 5 is spent worrying about the stigma of being a 'jilter'.He has been described by T.V critics as a "fifty year old in a thirty something body".
In Series 1 Episode 4, Mark briefly developed a homosexual crush on Alan Johnson, then only a visiting speaker. In an effort to explore this previously undiscovered side of his personality, Mark rented some gay pornography and eventually came to the conclusion that he was "possibly bi, but basically un-curious." Alan has since become Mark's boss and Mark is still paranoid about his potential to have feelings for Alan.
Unsurprisingly Mark is highly sexually frustrated, and also apparently somewhat repressed; he is disgusted by Jeremy's licentious views (if not always practice) on easy women and kinky sexual behaviour. At first his sexual anxiety was partly a result of a testicular hydrocele, about which he also became paranoid, but the swelling was reduced by surgery. Nevertheless, his fear that women will be unimpressed with his genitals remains firmly in place.
Politically, as well as in his nature, Mark appears to be primarily relatively conservative, particularly being a proponent of free market and consumer capitalism. He has frequently defended the use of monetary policy as a tool for the benefit of society rather than a "conspiracy". He has alluded to not believing in God, but has conversely been seen praying in times of extreme panic, leaving his religious views ambiguous. Interestingly though, he has shown more liberal traits, such as scepticism of the Iraq war and in series five expressed an admiration for Paddy Ashdown, former leader of the Liberal Democrats. A running gag is Mark's tendency to think a woman is "the one" and find out he has no feelings for them, shown mainly in Series 5 in most, if not all, of the episodes when he describes his respective love interest (most of whom only last one episode) as "the one". Mark also has a habit of thinking minor details and items will ruin or improve his life. Another running gag is Mark's tendency to use women as a way of getting revenge on others or assuring himself that he is capable of maintaining relationships. It is unclear between him and Jeremy who is the older of the two, given absolutely no information is provided about their ages or birthdates.
Mark's biggest interest is history, in particular ancient history and the Second World War. He often references Nazi history and Adolf Hitler, once played a Nazi soldier in a re-enactment and is a fan of classic war films such as Das Boot. It is implied that his grandfather died in the Second World War. He also read the book Stalingrad which was first revealed after an encounter with a group of young boys (aged about 9 or 10) who called him a "paedo" in the street. He later quoted from the same book in a disastrous attempt to seduce next-door neighbour Toni and the book is sometimes seen on his work desk.
He is an avid amateur historian, having always regretted not taking Ancient History as opposed to Business Studies at university, to the extent that he briefly attended history lectures at his former university despite not being a registered student, prompting his amazement at how easy it is to "steal some education". He also has an interest in philosophy, stating in Episode 3 of Series 4 that he gets his "brain training from Sudoku and Alain de Botton's weekly podcast." Alain De Botton's weekly podcast does not, in reality, exist. Later in the episode de Botton is also mentioned while Mark and Jeremy are discussing how to deal with a personal fitness instructor who the pair have mutual grievances with, with Mark asking "What would de Botton do?" and adding, when Jeremy suggests murder "de Botton wouldn't kill, we're not gonna kill him."