Mark Cooper

Mark Cooper


Mark Cooper began writing about music when he reviewed The Sex Pistols' last ever show at San Francisco's Winterland for Record Mirror in January 1978 and then chronicled the new wave of British bands launching on the West Coast while writing features on Fleetwood Mac and The Jacksons. After returning to London he regularly wrote for Q, The Guardian, City Limits and Mojo.

After joining the BBC's Music & Arts department he began 'Later with Jools Holland' with Jools and director Janet Fraser-Crook in October 1992 and proceeded not to miss a single show for 26 years. He booked 'Later' on his own and then with colleague Alison Howe until the 26th Hootenanny in 2018.

He initiated and led the BBC's television coverage of Glastonbury from a muddy 1997 until a locked down 2020. He also Executive Produced some 250 music documentaries for BBC One, Two, and Four including the 'Britannia' and 'America' music series, Reginald D Hunter's 'Songs of the South' and the year by year histories of 'Top of the Pops'. Published in 1982, his Liverpool Explodes: Echo and the Bunnymen and Teardrop Explodes was nominated by Jarvis Cocker as one of his 'Ten Best Music Books'.

Published by HarperCollins, Mark Cooper's first-hand account of the journey of 'Later...with Jools Holland' tells the inside story of BBC Two's flagship music performance series as it captures over a quarter of a century of brilliant music performance, providing a platform for a broad array of artists and launching a staggering number of music careers. It was Mark who explained to Jay-Z why he couldn't just do his numbers and split, who put Seasick Steve on the Hootenanny and persuaded Johnny Cash he simply had to come to Television Centre even when he wasn't feeling well. From grime to Bjork, from Britpop to Triphop, from Smokey Robinson to Norah Jones, this is the story of how Later...began, evolved and endured.

Mark Cooper

Latest Release

Later...with Jools Holland by Mark Cooper

Thirty years of music, magic and mayhem - the definitive oral history of the UK’s longest-running live music show.

Since its launch in late 1992, the BBC’s ‘Later….with Jools Holland’ has been widely regarded as the world’s foremost music programme, showcasing a huge variety of bands, singers and musicians in a live performance setting. Now in its 50th series ‘Later…’ has broadcasted over 300 episodes. ‘Later…’ is presented by musician and broadcaster Jools Holland and over the course of over 25 years has given a platform to both established and up-and-coming artists, many of whom have gone on to incredible success. The legends who have appeared on the show include Sir Paul McCartney, Robert Plant, U2, David Bowie, Van Morrison and Lou Reed, while artists such as Adele, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Amy Winehouse, Seasick Steve and Ryan Adams all cut their teeth here.

Later…with Jools Holland  is the definitive, celebratory oral history of the show – and the last three decades of music more generally – featuring interviews with many of those who have performed over its quarter century. Compiled by the show’s creator and producer, Mark Cooper, it has access to the unique photographic record of André Csillag (who has photographed the show and its stars from inception).

With the express support of Jools Holland and the BBC the book showcases the artistic talent that has graced the show over its quarter century with exclusive interviews and a behind the scenes look into music scenes from Britpop to Grime, plus contributions from Paul Weller, Bjork, Dave Grohl, Jack White, Ed Sheeran, Gregory Porter, Kano, Nick Cave, Alicia Keys, Richard Thompson, k.d. lang and Baaba Mall on the unique experience of playing ‘Later…’

    Other Publications

    by Mark Cooper

      Later...with Jools Holland