the vice interview

Mark Francis Talks About the Worst Phase of His Life

The 'Made In Chelsea' guy recently presented a show called 'Big Night Out', which sounds a lot like VICE's 'Big Night Out', except posh, so we asked him our usual stupid questions.
January 8, 2018, 11:21am
Mark Francis. Photo: United Agents

Mark Francis Vandelli chugging a dirty pint after picking the last king in a game of Ring of Fire. A scene – I can say with some degree of certainty – that would absolutely never have happened had the sophisticated Made in Chelsea star not decided to put appearances to one side to party his way around the UK for Channel 4's recent series Mark Francis' Big Night Out, in which Vandelli drops into various nightlife scenes – bashment, say, or death metal – around the UK.

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Which sounds a lot like the VICE series with host Clive Martin, also titled Big Night Out, which also investigated various nightlife scenes around the world. Hey: a good idea's a good idea!

I sat down with Mark Francis recently to ask him some questions he probably hated.

VICE: Hi Mark. Would you rather change a day of your past or see one from your future?
Mark Francis Vandelli: I’m very curious about my future. I don’t want to change the past because it’s in the past. As for what I'd like to see in the future, unlimited and unparalleled success. Champagne is obviously on the cards.

How many drinks does it take to get you drunk?
I don’t like to count my drinks because that would be incredibly boring and I don’t like to know when I’m drunk, because why would I know? That’s for someone else to tell me.

All photos from Mark Francis' Big Night Out courtesy of All4

So you’re a heavyweight?
Heavyweight? Excuse me? Are you calling me a sumo wrestler? I’m smaller than sample size, I’ll have you know.

How well would you cope in space?
It depends where I was sent. Pluto is terribly far away, you see… I’ve no interest in going there. The moon? Perhaps. On my own I wouldn’t cope very long – who would I gossip about? I would take my next collection of menswear, of course, because I’d need great clothes to wear since all of the satellites around space would be photographing me and I’d be on all the media.

If you could take someone to gossip with who would it be?
I can’t think of anyone important enough to take with me, but they’d have to be quite young because if they died that would be a disaster. How would I cremate them?

If you could live in any time in history, which would you pick?
The present. It’s rather melancholic to think one should live in a different era. There are definitely parts of my personality that are, if you like, antiquated or a little eccentric for the 21st century, but I would rather live in an age with excellent medication and knowledge.

Not tempted by time travel at all?
Oh, 100 percent, but if you went back you’d probably get syphilis and die within a few days, and that’s not in my interest. Not that I’m a hypochondriac…

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Would you have sex with a robot?
No, because it is of no interest to me. I’m into human emotion, not robotic science.

Even if that’s where the future is going?
Then I really will go back in time.

Do you believe in any conspiracy theories?
I don’t know if I believe in them, but I do find them very interesting – many surrounding a lot of events that have happened even in our lifetime. There are suggestions that man hasn’t even been on the moon. It’s interesting. I don’t know the answer. We know the answers to incredibly few things. We’re given a lot of information but a lot of it is erroneous. It’s stupid to assume that everything we’re told – or that is accepted as fact – is in fact true.

When do you dislike yourself the most?
When do I like myself the most is a far easier question to answer, but I don’t think it’s very healthy to be overly enthused with oneself – it’s not particularly attractive. I don’t have time to love myself; I’m too busy.

Do you ever like yourself?
When I feel like I’ve done a good deed – and that’s a very honest answer. I hope to become a very charitable person. This is something that I think needs time: if you want to be a charitable person you have to focus your life on that. You can’t do a lot of the things I do. It takes 100 percent life dedication.

What was your worst phase?
I was a little plump for about two weeks when I was eight. I happened to come across a few pictures where I didn’t look as svelte as I might. It was a phase I don’t wish to dwell upon.

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How many people have been in love with you?
I’ve no idea – I’d much rather not know. I find it very unattractive, because invariably they’re not the people one’s ever in love with. I forget very quickly about things I’m not interested in.

The problem with young people today is…
Gosh. How long do you have? Social media, the education system, values, family – people don’t spend enough time with their families – respecting older generations… I think that’s very important, because we have everything to learn from them. Giving the appropriate level of importance to the appropriate things. I think our priorities, and I classify myself as a young person – perhaps a little surprisingly – aren’t always the right ones, and that has to do with the environment we inhabit. The problem with young people today is there are no limits. There is no sense of what is appropriate, what is acceptable and where to draw the line.

If you were on Mastermind what would your specialist subject be?
Art History.

Think you’d win the trophy?
Gosh, I could not possibly be so arrogant to think I’d win anything.

What about the general knowledge round?
Oh no, I’m not interested in general, average, ordinary, basic knowledge. I’m interested in very, very clearly defined, exacting, deep-rooted knowledge in a very niche subject, such as 18th Century French porcelain. I don’t know anything about generic things. General boring ordinary things don’t interest me.

You’re not going to get that trophy.
Fine.

Would you want to experience death if you could be brought straight back to life?
No. We all have to have something to look forward to. Well, the afterlife, it’s only got to get better. I say my prayers, somebody’s got to be listening.

Dogs or babies?
Neither – they’re both most unpredictable, liable to make a mess, tear the fringes of my sofas and break things. I’ve no interest in either.

Finally: weeing in the shower, yes or no?
Oh my god, please leave at once. At once.