1) My start in business was with Lloyd’s of London as a Broker specialising in insurance against Kidnap and Ransom and Expropriation of Assets by unfriendly Governments or Regimes. After 5 years I made the switch to The Muppets with Jim Henson.
2) One morning I showed up to work at Jim Henson’s house which doubled as our office and found a man sitting with his feet up on my desk. I assumed he was Jim’s driver and asked him to take his feet off and wait outside. Jim then came into the room and said he was not going to the studio and didn’t’t need a driver. “The chauffeur” was actually Steven Speilberg who had come for a meeting. Spielberg had the last laugh though. Six months later while queueing outside Beverly Hills Hotel valet parking, he leaned over to ask if he could give me a lift and should he wear his chauffeur’s hat!
3) At 25, I was invited to lunch at the classic Hollywood haunt, Chasens in Los Angeles. My host was a well-known producer. As we entered, the Maître D’ came up to my host to say Frank Sinatra was having a birthday lunch and extended an invitation for him and his guest to join his party.
Mr. Sinatra was the epitome of graciousness and introduced himself, his wife Barbra Marx and the long table of famous people. The last person was a bald gentleman who resembled Mr. Magoo.
“Last but not least Mark, this is Max Factor.” I lost it... “Max Factor,” I cried out. “There’s a Max Factor?!” Mr. Sinatra turned to my host “Who is this English Limey who doesn’t’t blink at a table full of Hollywood Royalty but freaks out at meeting Max Factor?”
4) I co-owned a music Management company that launched Neneh Cherry and her multi-million selling debut album, Raw Like Sushi.
5) I have dual nationality, UK and Swiss, speaking fluent French and some German and Italian. My first TV Series, 72 action half hours called Crossbow was the adventures of William Tell and so a nod to my ancestry.
6) I was Executive Producer on a number of TV series and mini-series, the last being Treasure Island with Eddie Izzard, Donald Sutherland, Philip Glenister and Elijah Wood for Sky and NBC Universal.
7) I am a Founder of a leading seed to shelf CBD supplier, Dragonfly Biosciences. Our product is sold worldwide. In the UK it is in Harrods, Boots, Tesco, Sainsbury, Ocado and Pharmacy chains such as Day Lewis and Cohen’s.
8) I have scuba dived since I obtained a licence at 16. My teachers were the crew of Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso during their down time. Many years later I did a show with him and John Denver in Moscow.
9) I have been fortunate enough to visit 119 countries. However, I still want to see Antarctica.
10) I wrote my book, Fall Out because it feel like I had a thrilling story worth telling, genuinely inspired by a real world scandal. I’m a huge fan of international thrillers packed with conspiracies, intrigue and adventure and I hope I’ve done the genre justice.
Fall Out by MN Grenside is published 28th May by Urbane Publications.