Mark Johnson
Speaker Profile

Author of the best selling Wasted, recovering addict and alcoholic, social reformer

Photo of Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson was born in 1970 to a family which combined violence, heavy drinking and religious extremism.  Before he had left primary school he had become a drunk, drug abuser and vandal.  He served his first jail term, for violent crime, aged 17.  In his 20s, raves and the accompanying drugs became his life.  At 28 he was homeless and lived for a year on the streets of London’s West End, addicted to crack and heroin.

Faced with a choice between death and rehabilitation he opted for the harder of the two.  Within a few years, with some help from The Prince’s Trust, he set up a tree surgery business and employed other recovering addicts.  He received, among other accolades, a Pride of Britain award for his work.  In the summer of 2007 the publication of Mark’s honest autobiography, Wasted, shook both the reading public and policymakers.

Mark has worked as a special adviser to both the board of the National Probation Service and the Prince’s Trust where he helps initiate new ideas, in particular a project called 1-2-1 which uses ex-offenders as supporters for young offenders.  He enjoys the special patronage of Prince Charles and both the media and government ministers take a strong interest in his ideas.  Mark works tirelessly to increase understanding of the reasons young people become offenders and drug abusers and has set up a non-profit-making organisation User Voice, to offer policy-makers access to the unheard and marginalised voices in society.  His intention is to create a dialogue between service providers and users which is mutually beneficial and results in better and more cost-effective services.

What the audience can expect
A practical, down-to-earth approach, drawing on Mark’s personal story demonstrating how to deal with life’s serious challenges and how to remain motivated when the struggles are hardest.

His presenting approach
Mark regularly has audiences reaching for their handkerchiefs - not just because he moves them but because they laugh hard too.  He is clever, charismatic, self-deprecating, frighteningly honest and very humorous.  He is an acclaimed motivational and inspirational speaker.

Off-the-wall and straight to the heart.

LanguageMark presents in English.


'He went down a storm - great feedback on Mark's session.  So much so, we are looking to book him for the Criminal Justice Conference in October 2009.'

ADSW Conference

'Just wanted to touch base with you and give some feedback on Mark’s attendance at our AGM last week.  Basically, he was fantastic!  Our audience was silent, you could hear a pin drop.'


Further information
To find out what Mark Johnson could bring to your event or to make a booking, please contact Alice Saunders.