In celebration of Mark Wright‘s 27th birthday on Monday 20 January, ! Online has compiled the top ten facts you need to know about the television star who is engaged to the stunning Michelle Keegan.
1. Mark first found fame in 2010, starring as one of the original cast members of hit reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex. The charming man grew up in Brentwood, Essex where the ITV show is filmed but quit after the third series to dabble in other television projects.
2. As the ultimate ladies’ man on the show, Mark had relationships with several of his co-stars including Lauren Goodger, whom he dated on and off for nine years, Sam Faiers and Lucy Mecklenburgh.
“I think people think of me as someone who can get what he wants, but ultimately I am very much a home bird,” Mark has previously admitted. “I love my family and friends and I do think I am a nice guy.”
3. Mark found true love with Coronation Street actress Michelle Keegan, after meeting the brunette beauty at a New Year’s Eve party in Dubai. Nine months later the couple announced their engagement in September 2013, with Mark choosing to pop the question when the pair went back to Dubai for holiday.
“It didn’t take me long to realise that Michelle is everything I wanted,” Mark told ! in an exclusive photoshoot.
“I rang my dad and said, ‘What knee do I drop on’ He said, ‘You can choose but I think it’s right.’ But left is my favourite side so I said I’m going to drop on my left. I’m superstitious, everything has to be done on the left.”
4. Before his TOWIE days, Mark was a semi-professional football player who represented a number of teams including Tottenham Hotspurs, Southend United, Grays Athletic and Crawley Town.
5. Mark’s younger brother Josh Wright is still a professional footballer, while his older sister Jessica Wright is a glamour model and current TOWIE cast member. The youngest of the siblings, Natalya is 13.
6. The handsome star became the face of Littlewoods menswear label Goodsouls last year, and has considered himself something of a clothes horse. “Everyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love fashion,” Mark said at the time. He has also admitted that fellow Essex lad David Beckham is his fashion idol.
“I love everything [Becks] wears,” said Mark. “He keeps it classic and simple which is what I like and then when he doesn’t, he adds a little twist like he might put a flat peak or a granddad cap on and it will match the colour. Everything he does is just perfect.”
7. The good-looking presenter is always pictured looking his best. In 2013 Mark was named best-groomed male, but insisted to ! Online that he doesn’t take long to get ready.
“I’m really quick. I only take 20 minutes!” he said. “Usually I know what I’m wearing first, then I just jump in the shower and blow dry my hair. I put some gel on and put my clothes on and I’m out. It’s easy for a guy, isn’t it”
He also revealed that he prefers a natural tan. “I’ve never used fake tan in my life,” he said. “I’ll always try and go natural… it’s a good excuse for holidays!”
8. After TOWIE, Mark continued down the reality TV road and starred in I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! where he finished runner-up after McFly’s Dougie Poynter. Mark was linked to Australian model Emily Scott at the time of filming.
9. Mark got into television presenting after TOWIE. His first role was on Take Me Out‘s spin-off show, Take Me Out: The Gossip where he worked alongside Zoe Hardman, doing backstage interviews with the dating contestants.
10. The television personality spent a stint abroad in Los Angeles, where he presented his own show Mark Wright’s Hollywood Nights and was filmed playing pranks on his friends. The programme was short-lived, running for one month in 2012.