Mark Nicholas bigraphy, stories - English cricketer

Mark Nicholas : biography

29 September 1957 -

Mark Charles Jefford Nicholas (born 29 September 1957) is a cricket commentator and former player. He played for Hampshire from 1978 to 1995, captaining them from 1985 to his retirement.

Nicholas was born in Westminster, London. His grandfather Fred Nicholas captained Essex CCC, his mother is the actress Anne Nicholas and his stepfather the broadcaster Brian Widlake. He was educated at Bradfield College where he was coached by John Harvey.

Playing career

A middle-order batsman and occasional medium-pace bowler, Nicholas captained Hampshire to four major trophies - the Benson & Hedges Cup in 1988 and 1992, Sunday League (now Pro40) in 1986, and NatWest Trophy (now Friends Provident Trophy) in 1991. Despite captaining England A on tour to Zimbabwe in 1989-1991, Nicholas might be considered one of his generation's better players never to play a Test for England.

Known for his suave appearance and urbane manner, Nicholas is one of a long line of colourfully dressed characters to captain Hampshire County Cricket Club, including Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie and CB Fry.

Broadcasting career

Since his retirement as a player, Nicholas has worked in broadcasting, first as a commentator for Sky Sports, and from 1999 to 2005 as the anchorman for Channel 4's cricket coverage. He worked freelance in 1995 for Sky and others, before signing for Sky Sports in 1996 as anchorman, where his first major role was presenting domestic and international cricket.

He led Sky's coverage of England's winter tours to Zimbabwe and New Zealand in 1996-1997, and continued this in the West Indies in 1998. His last role with Sky Sports was presenting the network's live and exclusive coverage of the 1998-1999 Ashes series in Australia.

He also commentates for Australia's Nine Network during the Australian summer cricket season. He now anchors the Nine coverage, being a future anticipated replacement for Richie Benaud as the face of cricket on Nine, despite having once been dropped from the commentary team for reasons that were never fully explained before his reinstatement. His rise to the top of sports broadcasting - in Australia at least - is quite remarkable considering that he never played at international level during his cricketing career. Every other senior member of Nine's on-air team has played at the elite level, many of them captaining Australia.

Until 2008 he wrote a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph. He was named Sports Presenter of the Year in 2001 by the Royal Television Society, as well as being one of only two presenters to stand in for Richard and Judy. Nicholas also presented the second series of the UK version of the reality show Survivor. He continued his commitments to Australia's Nine Network in March 2006, anchoring the afternoon coverage of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. He also rated fourth in a Melbourne newspaper poll that set out to find the public's choice on the new host of the Australian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.

While as Channel 4 anchor for the cricket, Nicholas presented "Today at the Test" which would cover the highlights of the day's play at the England Test matches or the trophy finals.

Mark Nicholas was approached by Five to cover England cricket highlights from 2006, the programme being named Cricket on Five. He commentates on the programme with former cricketer Geoffrey Boycott and analyst Simon Hughes, both of whom worked with Nicholas at Channel 4 plus ex-England captain Michael Vaughan.

Nicholas recently served as anchorman and commentator for the Nine Network coverage of the 2010-2011 Ashes series and continues to serve this role for other Australian home Test series. He was part of the world feed commentary team for both the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, and the 2011 World Cup in India and Sri Lanka.

Nicholas is also the anchorman for EA Sports Cricket 07 game. He introduces the matches the user is playing, and also commentates during the game with Richie Benaud, taking over from Jim Maxwell.

Nicholas began presenting ITV1's Britain's Best Dish in 2007 and fronted it for four series until in 2010, he was replaced by Mary Nightingale. He is currently into his sixth year as main presenter and commentator of Cricket on Five.

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Living octopus

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