Level 42's Mark King is inducted into Portsmouth Guildhall's wall of fame

IT WAS two thumbs up for Mark King from the Portsmouth Cultural Trust as he became the latest inductee on Portsmouth Guildhall's Wall of Fame.

Tuesday, 18th October 2016, 6:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 4:18 pm
Mark King of Level 42 has made it onto the Guildhall Wall of Fame at Portsmouth Guildhall. Picture: Sarah Standing (161418-5217)

Mark, the co-founder of and bass player in funk-pop stars Level 42, famously had his thumbs insured by his record label for £3m.

The band, whose hits include Lessons In Love, Something About You and Running in The Family were in Portsmouth today for a stop on their current tour.

Mark, who was born in Cowes, and still lives on the Isle of Wight, was thrilled to be inducted.

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At a short ceremony Andy Grays, the chief executive of Portsmouth Cultural Trust said: ‘Your contribution to music is extraordinary and we feel very proud to induct you.’

Mark said afterwards: ‘I’m chuffed to bits with this.

‘I’m not sure I deserve it.’

And he revealed the shirt he’s wearing in his induction photograph is his lucky shirt – he wore it when he won the BBC’s gameshow Pointless, with the money going to Beaulieu Respite, where he is a patron.

Mark joins previous inductees Mick Jones of Foreigner, and Queen’s ‘fifth man’ Spike Edney, who were both born in Portsmouth, as well as British blues legend John Mayall.

Level 42 have played often at the Guildhall during their 35-year career, with the band considering it practically their home venue.

‘So many amazing artists have played here over the years. It’s a fantastic venue for us and Portsmouth is very lucky to have it,’ added Mark.

Super-fan Lorraine Bessant, from Somers Town was at the Guildhall to watch the ceremony with her friend Donna Wilson.

‘I absolutely love him,’ said the 60-year-old. ‘He’s just incredible – his bass playing is out of this world. He’s got so much charisma.’

Fellow fans Shelby Pink, 48, and John McShane, 49, of Southsea, also came along to meet the star.

John said: ‘We grew up listening to them. I know it’s a cliche but it’s the soundtrack of our lives.

‘When you see the videos or hear the songs it instantly jogs your memory.’

And Shelby added: ‘They haven’t lost their sound – they still sound as great as they did back in the ’80s.’

The Wall of Fame was started by the trust in 2014 to honour those who have made a significant contribution to the world of entertainment and those with ties to the region.