Bob Downe

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Sydney, Australia 

Born in Melbourne 4 February 1959, Mark Trevorrow joined The Sun News-Pictorial as a copy boy in January 1977. His colleagues included Paul Stewart and Wendy Harmer, and his colourful-to-chequered career at the paper included a year as daily pop columnist.

In 1980 he co-founded (with Wendy de Waal) a cabaret comedy group, Gloria and the Go Go's, later to reform as The Globos. In 1981 he was segment producer for ATV10's Together Tonight. This was also the year Mark joined St Martins Youth Arts Centre, South Yarra. Mark's St Martins productions included Quik-Eze Cafe and When Lips Collide (at the Playbox theatre, with Gina Riley, Kim Trengove, Tottie Goldsmith, Hugo Race, Wendy de Waal, George Huxley, Greta Mendoza and Tessa Humphries).

In 1982 The Globos became a professional group, releasing a National Top 20s single, Tintarella di Luna, and appearing in Sydney to huge acclaim at the newly opened Kinselas cabaret. The group toured Australia with Cliff Richard in 1983, released another hit single, The Beat Goes On, and appeared with Simon Burke at Kinselas in Tonight! Tonight! with original music by Geoffrey O'Connell, directed by Robyn Nevin.

In 1984, with The Globos disbanded, Mark joined Vogue Australia in Sydney as staff writer for a year, eventually becoming freelance Arts Editor in 1987-88. 1984 also saw his partnership with Cathy Armstrong, in a comedy duo where “Bob Downe” was born - in a sketch parodying the cultish US television show, Entertainment Tonight. The pair wrote and performed for ABC Radio's Comedy Unit and their first complete show was A Nice Young Couple (Pastel's Cafe 1985 and Adelaide Festival Fringe 1986).

In late 1986 The Globos reformed with original members Mark, Wendy de Waal and Jane Markey, and along with Nell Schofield, Tracey Callender and the late Tim Conigrave, Globos Shock! was another Kinselas success.

In January 1987, Bob Downe went solo at the Harold Park Hotel's Comics In the Park in Sydney.

Mark's first complete solo show was All Bob Downe with Collin Salter at Pastel's Cafe (Sydney 1987). Successful appearances at the Melbourne Comedy Festival led to headline seasons at the fabled Last Laugh theatre restaurant, culminating in a six-month run with Bob & Coralee's Pick-a-Hit (1988-89), written with and co-starring Gina Riley, Peter Rowsthorn and Greg Fleet.

In 1988, Mark took Bob to the Edinburgh Fringe, where he was a huge and instant success. Bob Downe has played to ever larger Edinburgh (and UK) audiences ever since, with Mark in perpetual commute between London and Sydney. A multitude of British TV credits includes Bob Downe Under (LWT 1992), Viva Cabaret (Channel 4), Barrymore, Des O'Connor Tonight, Surprise Surprise and The 1995 Royal Variety Performance (all ITV), and The Bob Downe Special (ITV 1996).

Mark continues to tour Australia every year and Bob’s first album, Greatest Hits, was released in 1996, with 1997's Jazzy! being nominated for a Best Comedy Album ARIA Award.

Bob has appeared regularly on Midday with Kerri-Ann, Good Morning Australia with Bert Newton, and he co-hosted Channel Ten's 1997 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras broadcast with Tottie Goldsmith - an old St Martins mate. Mark has also appeared at Montreal's Just For Laughs festival, at the Auckland Comedy Festival and he won a Glasgow Mayfest Award in 1992.

In 1998 he hosted the Ten Network's national coverage of the 20th Anniversary Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, and followed up with high-profile TV appearances on Midday, McFeast Live and Good News Week.

In 1999 he toured his Million Sellers show nationally through the UK (with Pastel Vespa and John Thorn) before bringing the show to the Sydney Opera House in July.

He also hosted the 1999 Mardi Gras telecast for Network 10, as well as regular appearances on Ten's Good News Week and E! News.
In October Mark co-hosted the 1999 ARIA Awards ceremony with Paul McDermott at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, televised on Network Ten, and in November did a featured spot with Gina Riley at the People's Choice Awards for the 7 Network.

In early 2000 he opened his new show Whiter, Brighter at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, before taking it to Brisbane; the Melbourne Comedy Festival, where it played to rave notices; His Majesty's Theatre in Perth; and the Playhouse of the Sydney Opera House. His new weekly tonight show, The Bob Downe Show went to air on TV1 in December 2000.

In 2001 he released his third album, Huge Hits, and won a Melbourne Green Room Award for the second year running, before going on to play a successful run of shows at New York's Westbeth Theatre. He also played a season at the Regal in Perth, in September.

In December he premiered a new cabaret show, singing as himself with a jazz trio, at the Black Cat in Melbourne. The weekly show played for two months, to acclaim and sellout audiences.

In March 2002 he opened his new show Cold August Night at the Adelaide Festival Fringe. It then went on to play to capacity audiences at the Melbourne Comedy Festival and the State Theatre in Sydney, followed by the Powerhouse in Brisbane.
Mark reprised his hit show "Whiter, Brighter", at the Assembly Rooms at the Edinburgh Festival in August, followed by a UK tour, climaxing with a season at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.

Showbiz
Cold August Night 2002 Australian Tour
The Age, Melbourne, 16 April 2002
"Solid-gold Bob rocks on a hot comic night ... Bob Downe produces a sizzling show."

Sydney Morning Herald, 3 May 2002
“Hilarious... a tribute to Downe's wit, chutzpah and charm."
Whiter, Brighter 2000 Australian Tour
Sunday Telegraph
"Bob Downe puts the E back into entertainment."

Herald-Sun
"Masterly parody."

Sydney Morning Herald
"Oh so fresh"

Sun-Herald
"The 70s are back and they're even funnier than they were the first time around."
Press quotes from UK 1996-99
Evening Standard
"Camp as cucumbers ... extremely funny and rather touching."

Attitude magazine
"The perma-grinning, taste-free one is quite simply high on life. With no publicity stunt too trifling, look out for him opening a supermarket near you soon."

The Guardian 'Guide'
"Another inspired dollop of MOR warbling and scrumptiously bitchy back-chat."

The Independent on Sunday
"Hilarious!"

The Times
"Peter Pan on speed"

The Guardian
"The bri-nylon king of sing."
 

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