Mark Corrigan is one-half of the two protagonists in the television series Peep Show, and he is portrayed by David Mitchell.
Mark is a loan manager at the fictional company, JLB Credit. Responsible and bright, but also socially and sexually awkward, Mark is the owner of the flat on the outskirts of Croydon, South London that he shares with his best friend from university, Jeremy.
Characterisation[edit | edit source]
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 and stubborn father whom he somehow wasn't brave, mature and independent enough to stand up to, fight against and claim his independence from, and some infidelity by both parents. He went to Polefield School in Croydon and left in 1991. 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 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".
For the first five series, he is a loan manager at JLB credit. Later, JLB closes and Mark works variously as a waiter at a Mexican restaurant, bathroom equipment salesman, and finally again as a loan manager at a bank (but is fired in the series finale).
Character History[edit | edit source]
Early Life[edit | edit source]
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 public 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.
Family[edit | edit source]
Mark has a sister, Sarah, a solicitor who shares a great deal of Mark's social shortcomings. He often thinks fearfully of his parents, especially his father who is controlling and bullying.
Friends[edit | edit source]
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.
He briefly befriends a colleague, Daryl, in the second series, who turns out to be a racist. He claims Daryl is the first friend he made since Nick Bickford in 1996, though we do not hear of either Daryl or Nick again. He and Jeremy were also friends with Pej, an unseen character.
His boss at JLB credit is Alan Johnson, a charismatic albeit domineering friend who seems to view Mark as something of a protege. Sophie Chapman, whom Mark met at JLB credit, goes from being the object of his neurotic affections to brief, reluctant wife, and after a long falling out they become friends looking after their son, Ian. Mark befriends Dobby and Gerard, forming a love triangle. He and Dobby have a relationship, but split when she gets work in New York. Gerard dies. That is so Gerard.
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".
Sexuality[edit | edit source]
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.
Beliefs[edit | edit source]
Mark's politics are ambiguous. He is a socially conservative critic of political correctness and is uncomfortable with drug culture and openness about sexuality. He believes in the 'miracle of consumer capitalism'. In the second series, he implies he likes Tony Blair, but in the fourth series he seems sceptical of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and by the fifth series, he says "nobody wanted New Labour" and shows admiration for Liberal Democrat Paddy Ashdown.
He often criticises those who believe in God, but has been seen praying in times of extreme panic.
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.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Mark's infatuation and relationship with Sophie is a major theme of the first four series. Following their disastrous wedding and divorce, he pursues a series of other women during series 5, wondering whether each could be "the one". After a one-night stand with Sophie following their break-up, she becomes pregnant and later gives birth to Mark's child.
Mark's next major relationship is with Dobby, whom he meets at JLB. Like with Sophie, Mark gradually succeeds in getting closer to Dobby and ultimately entering a relationship with her, but Dobby eventually leaves him for a job in New York. Dobby returns in series 9 with a new boyfriend and a more positive attitude, and Mark ultimately finds himself uninterested in her new persona.
In series 9, he attempts to start an affair with April, whom he knew briefly years earlier, and comes close to doing so. He ultimately fails in the series finale when he allows Jeremy and Super Hans to hold her husband captive in their flat, which she discovers.
Interests[edit | edit source]
Mark's biggest interest is history, in particular ancient history and the Second World War. He is interested in Nazism, playing a Nazi soldier in a re-enactment watching films like Das Boot and playing WWII computer games. It is implied that his grandfather died in the Second World War. He also read the book Stalingrad.
He is an avid amateur historian, having always regretted not taking Ancient History as opposed to Business Studies at university. He enjoys playing chess. He also has an interest in pop-philosophy, stating that he gets his "brain training from Sudoku and Alain de Botton's weekly podcast."
Despite his academic interests, he and his flatmate Jeremy watch many of the same more mainstream TV series and films. He likes the TV show The Apprentice and Grand Designs, while often only feigning an interest in more highbrow subjects like the Victorian Arts and Crafts movement.