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Mark Holden (born 27 April 1954) is an Australian singer and television personality. He was one of four judges on the television series Australian Idol.


Acting career

Holden was a television and film actor. He was an original cast member of soap opera The Young Doctors when it began in late 1976. Film roles included Blue Fire Lady and "Newsfront". Mark was the first pop star in the world to create the lead role in 'Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' in the first Australian production of the Webber and Rice musical.

He won three Logies and performed for HRH The Prince of Wales at the Sydney Opera House. He hosted the infamous 'Silver Jubilee Countdown' amongst many other Countdown appearances and hostings. In 2007 he has appeared in cameo acting roles on Kath & Kim, NBC's 'The Starter Wife' with Debra Messing and as an Immigration Detention Officer on SBS's Fat Pizza .

Music career

Mark was a pop singer in the 1970s, having hits with songs such as Never Gonna Fall in Love Again and making several appearances on the AustralianBroadcasting Corporation's popular television series Countdown.

Relocating to Los Angelesmarker in 1980 and as a songwriter, he had two Top Ten hits with the Temptations on Motown – ‘Lady Soul’ which is included on the 'Motown Greatest Hits 1972-92 Hitsville USA' CD Compilation and ‘Look What You Started’ which features on the definitive Tempations compilation 'The Emperors Of Soul' .

There were also hits with Tracie Spencer, Joey Lawrence, Will Downing, a #1 dance hit with Kathy Sledge, and over 50 cover recordings of his songs from artists as varied as Belinda Carlisle, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, The Manhattans, Donnie Osmond, Jose Feliciano, Fleetwood Mac, David Hasselhoff and Branford Marsalis.

He also developed and produced artists including Calvin Klein model and film star Milla Jovovich ('Chaplin', 'Blue Lagoon 2', 'Dazed and Confused', 'The 5th Element'), for EMI Records Group, New York. This led to her debut album; a US Top Ten Post Modern hit, it won critical raves including a 3 star review in Rolling Stone magazine.

For three years Mark has worked with David Hasselhoff, producing and coordinating his albums, live promotion and musical projects for television, particularly in Europe where David enjoyed multi-platinum successes including the Top Ten hit in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, ‘Wir Zwei Allein Heut Nacht’ (‘A Star Looks Down Tonight’) which Mark wrote with David Hasselhoff.

Jeremy Jackson, the actor who played David Hasselhoff's son on Baywatch, was signed to Mark Holden's production company and had two hits in Europe including 'You Can Run' which was Top 5 in Holland.

In 1999, Mark performed his show "100 Years of Australian Music" at the School of Arts Café in Queanbeyanmarker.

Marjac Productions with Transistor Music Australia and Universal Music International launched Vanessa Amorosi onto the Australian and international stage with ARIA’s #4 album of the year 2000 – 'The Power' – and four hit singles in Australia. "Absolutely Everybody" has been #7 in the UK, #2 in Ireland, Top Five Germany (Gold), Austria (Gold) and Switzerland; and Top Ten in many other European and Asian countries. Vanessa's album 'The Power' was gold in GSA with 4 hit singles.

Mark’s family group, The Holdens, released their first CD, "A Tribute to Tex Morton". This features songs made famous by the legendary country singer and showman.

Tex was very much in the tradition of his forebears The Holden Brothers Circus who traveled with Tex and is Mark's way of paying homage to them and the way they entertained Australians over many decades from the late 1800s on.

In 2000 MarJac Productions signed with Sony Australia to consult for the Delta Goodrem project which reached #1 in Australia and Top 5 UK. Meanwhile , his songs continue to be recorded by Vanessa Amorosi, Nikki Webster (Top 20 Gold single 'Best Days'), Delta Goodrem and Sophie Monk.

In 2004 Mark established Dream Dealers, his own Management, Music Publishing and Record Company.

Dream Dealers immediately achieved success with first signing, Joel Turner and the Modern Day Poets. The first single “These Kids” reached #1 on the Aria charts, staying in the top ten for over three months in which time it achieved double platinum status.

Their self titled album was released in late 2004 and was certified platinum. A number of other successful singles were also released from the album.

Australian Idol

In 2003, Mark was once again a household name, this time as a judge on the record-breaking Australian Idol television show, which was the Ten Network's highest rating show ever. Mark executive-produced the 'Final 12' cast CD for Australian Idol which went double platinum and included the #1 song 'Rise Up' which he co-wrote with Vanessa Amorosi. His phrase "Touchdown" became the highest form of accolade for the contestants with Cosima De Vito receiving the first ever touchdown for her rendition of Cold Chisel's When the War Is Over. When De Vito scored the first touchdown Ian Dickson said that he could not help but think that De Vito had been sent by another television network as a spy because she was everything the competition was about.

On 4 March 2008, Holden was officially sacked from Australian Idol and stated that he had resigned. Mark Holden was sacked from the show due to Dicko returning and Australian Idol deciding that a panel of four judges would not work so got rid of Holden and saved Marcia Hines and Kyle Sandilands.

X Factor

Mark also appeared as a judge on The X Factor in 2005. (along with John Reid and Kate Ceberano). The R&B group he had been mentoring during the show, Random, went on to win and their first single "Put Your Hands Up" reached #7 on the Australian ARIAnet Singles Chart.


In December 2007, Holden got the role in SHOUT playing Johnny O Keefes manager Lee Gordon, which played in early 2008.


Holden's radio career includes co-hosting The Drive Home with Cal Wilson while regular host Akmal was sick. He also hosted the short lived show in 07, 'The Dicko, Holden and Chrissie show on Nova FM. He has also appeared regularly as co-host with Lindy Burns on 774 ABC Melbourne. Most recently he has appeared on Melbourne radio 3AW as a fill in host and presenting summer breakfast with Tamsyn Lewis on Vega 91.5. He now does fill ins for 3AW.

Mark's Slang Quotes

  • "Touchdown!" (to various in Australian Idol)
  • "Grand Royal Touchdown!" (for Anthony Callea)'s performance of The Prayer which also rendered Dicko speechless Australian Idol Season 2
  • "Ka-Ching, Ka-Ching, Ka-Ching!" (Dean Geyer: What is that? Mark Holden: Mate that's the sound of... CASH REGISTERS!. From Australian Idol, Season 4, to Dean Geyer)
  • "That didn't shizzle my frizzle" (to various in Australian Idol)
  • "The Val Dooni-goo-goo-gometer has jumped to 11." (to Damien Leith)
  • "What are ya doin, ya Gooni-Goo-Goose?" (The X factor)
  • "That Was Dooni-Gooni-Gay." (to various in The X factor)
  • "That put a fire down my wire." (to Reigan Derry)
  • "That was Goony Goo Goo Dolls to the MAX!" (To various Idol contestants)

Personal life

  • He attended Westminster School, Adelaidemarker, Australia.
  • He managed to finish his law degree in 1999.
  • He has a son named Cane and a daughter named Katie.
  • Holden was awarded "Wanker of the Year" by men's magazine Ralph in 2003, and in response, wanted a trophy to show off his new title. He started up a petition on his own website to have it awarded to him. He has mentioned it a few times on Idol, and Ralph has considered naming the award after him. In this years awards however, he came third, beaten by fellow Network Ten celebrities Rove McManus and Australian Idol presenter Andrew G. The magazine claimed that his attempt to claim a trophy for his honour was enough for them not to give him the award.
  • In 2003 there was an incident between Aussie Rocker Tim Rogers and Holden in an Adelaidemarker airport terminal. In a 2006 Under the Weather segment on Australian radio station JJJ, the incident was jokingly brought up. Host Jay Whalley mentioned that his co-host [The Doctor] was away travelling and asked Rogers for travelling tips as a segue to the incident, if he bumped into Holden. Rogers responded: "He could try and suggest that for every five minutes that the judge [Mark Holden] is on camera, that far more could be done with that cash that he is receiving, and then get said judges "goons" to try and rough the Doctor up."
  • He has a daughter Kathryn Holden (Katie) who is a professional ballet dancer and model.
  • He is currently reading with Barrister William Lye at the Victorian Bar.
  • In November 2009 Mark Holden will sign the bar and therefore become a full time eligble barrister.



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