Marcus Berkmann

Marcus Berkmann single-handedly (with help from Phil South) wrote YS for a year and a half from 1987, and ran Dr Berkmann's Clinic for fun in his spare time, when he wasn't busy writing the rest of YS. The Clinic was basically a section devoted to helping readers complete Dizzy*, Fantasy Land Dizzy, Treasure Island Dizzy, etc. (which, according to David Darling, was "Absolutely Brilliant"). If he was lucky, T'zer would let him do a review once in a while, but only because most of the other Jugglers couldn't even manage to string together two words to make a coherent sentence.

He writes a monthly column for the Spectator about pop music, and used to write the rock section of the Daily Mail, and then the TV section, before moving to the Sunday Express (which comes out on Sunday) to continue to write about TV (most recently seen reviewing hit BBC2 sheepdog show One Man And His Dog. He said it was good), before writing about, erm, TV for the Daily Express (six days a week, not just the one) and a once weekly funny sports column.

And, if you take a peek at sci-fi tv magazine Dreamwatch you will notice that it is yet another publication that Marcus wrote for. Blimey! Is there no end to his talents? That's got to be about a hundred different publications**.

Oh, and if you take a look at the most recent letters page, you will notice that Marcus came in for some stick from the readers due to his view that shite TV shows such as Babylon 5 only had good ratings because they were watched by fat men in vests. Why not write in and tell them that anyone who slagged off Marcus is a twat?

Marcus tells us that he has recently been appointed film critic of The Oldie, and has written a number of books. The first two and the fourth one are obviously part of an ongoing series, despite being released several years apart and having nothing to do with each other (except the last one, which is similar to the first one). Rain Men: The Madness of Cricket ("The Fever Pitch of cricket" according to the Daily Telegraph, which Marcus doesn't write for) is about the crazy antics of obsessive village cricketers (presumably in a village where it rains all the time and nobody actually ever gets to play cricket, instead preferring to sit in the comfort of the clubhouse talking about what was on the TV last night, or something), and Brain Men is about pub quizzes. Fatherhood - The Truth is available in Serbo-Croat, and provides reassurance if you have just found out you are going to be a father, although the English edition is probably better unless you actually know some Serbo-Croat. Zimmer Men is a follow-up to Rain Men and contains stuff about being middle-aged as well as cricket. These books and possibly more are available from Amazon.

Marcus also did a weekly phone-in on the Clive Bull Show (on LBC) every Monday evening, talking about TV without even leaving the house. Cripes! How does he find time to do anything else?

Oh, and we spotted yet another column he writes in a different magazine while (ahem) browsing through in WHSmith, but can't remember which magazine it was. He also has a hand in Private Eye (including the Dumb Britain column and editing Mediaballs and Mediaballs 2) and stars on the CD.

Source: BBC3

Look, it's Dr Berkmann! (right) No, not that one, but the character from Monkey Dust, which we have a strong suspicion our own Dr B may have named (having helped write the first two series). Incidentally, if YS ever made it to the telly in a dark, satirical animated format, it probably wouldn't be anything like this.

Had you seen the episode of University Challenge: The Professionals in 2005 in which Private Eye beat Debrett's, you would have seen Marcus next to Ian Hislop, Francis Wheen and Christopher Booker, all of whom got more right answers than he did. He turns up on the telly from time to time, most recently in a BBC3 documentary about Top Of The Form, and this autumn (2006) will be featured in a BBC2 documentary series called The Madness of Modern Parenting. Various other scripting projects have taken up vast swathes of professional time and come to nothing, but being a blithely optimistic fool he keeps trying.

Marcus currently lives in north London with his partner, two children and several enormous credit card bills.

And he starred in a computer game. Click here to find out more..

We would put a picture in here of Marcus from the Sunday Express but, er, we don't actually have one. So we can't.

* Dr Berkmann's Clinic was started to help people with Head Over Heels. It was only later that other games were featured. When Marcus left to play in Alexei Sayle's Charity All-Star Rovers (or something), the Clinic was taken over by Dr Hugo Z Hackenbush. This is not strictly relevant but adds local colour.
** Approximately