Working life: The secret of my success - Mark Little

Mark Little, ex-Neighbours star, comedian and TV presenter, has had an eclectic career spanning nearly 20 years. He is currently combining his talents in Defending the Caveman in the West End.

It was my English teacher, a Yorkshireman, who appreciated my Pythonesque sense of humour, who got me to apply for drama school when I was 17. I didn't know what I was doing but they accepted me and that was it, really. Moving from the country to Sydney at the anti-Establishment time of punk was a real culture change and I loved it.

In Melbourne in the mid-Eighties I started doing television, but I was always keen to use my theatrical training in my own work to create a theatre style relevant to Australia in the stand-up comedy clubs.

I had plenty of run-ins with the Establishment as I always tried to be spontaneous and on the edge. Wanting to do something different can involve a bit of a fight. I've always been unorthodox in my outlook and I was held back as a result.

Neighbours was supposed to be a six-week contract which I only did because I needed some work. But it lasted three years, and ended up being a decade's worth of detour from what I wanted to do. But I don't regret it. It's success meant that my first show for the Edinburgh Festival in 1990 was a sell-out from the first night. That brought me to England and put me on the path to where I am today.

I treat my comedy as my work and not my life. I'm also lucky to have a great partner who shares my views on life and I have my children, who keep me in touch with reality. Not being driven purely for money or glory has stopped me from being a flash in the pan, I think.

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