Mark, the gardening expert on BBC One Morning Live and a presenter on QVC and BBC Gardeners’ World, became the UK’s first garden designer in a wheelchair, as well as the first gardening broadcaster in a wheelchair on British television.
As well as Mark, 11 other nominees have been shortlisted for the National Diversity Awards (NDA) Celebrity of the Year including Ashley Banjo and Raheem Sterling.
Community organisations and role models from across the UK will head to Liverpool on 4th February to witness the country’s 2021 NDA winners being crowned the best of British diversity. Amongst those being honoured are charities, campaigners and activists, all of whom work tirelessly to combat injustice and discrimination in very different ways.
Mark Lane said: “I cannot believe that from 50,000 entrants that I have been shortlisted for Celebrity of the Year. This has come as a complete surprise. The competition is extremely tough, and while, of course, it will be wonderful to win, I am honoured and over-the-moon for just being considered as a finalist. Being shortlisted also puts the spotlight on disability in a positive way. We have a tremendously talented and diverse mix of people in this country and it’s wonderful that these prestigious awards, covered on ITV News, see and promote diversity in such a positive way.”
Designed to highlight the country’s most inspirational and selfless people, the NDAs continue to gain endorsements from high profile figures such as Sir Lenny Henry CBE and Graham Norton. Activist Katie Piper, Emmerdale star Ash Palmisciano and Paralympic Gold Medallist Danny Creates were on this year’s judging panel, dedicating their time to help choose the highly anticipated shortlist.
Author and philanthropist, Katie Piper said: “I am so proud to be on the judging panel for the National Diversity Awards. In what has been a tough year for many, I am so pleased these awards create and celebrate a new generation of positive role models. As a campaigner myself, I will love reading about the excellent achievements of grass-root communities which tackle the issues in today’s society with sheer dedication. I can’t wait to honour these charities, role models and community heroes who will have shown outstanding commitment to enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion.”
Previous winners include actor Warwick Davis, men’s mental health charity Andy’s Man Club and breast cancer survivor Codilia Gapare.
About Mark Lane – Mark is the UK’s first garden/landscape designer to be in a wheelchair. He is a regular presenter on BBC Morning Live and QVC, and also presents on BBC TV Gardeners’ World coverage of the RHS shows. Mark graduated from University College London in Art History with B.A. (Hons). Mark had a meteoric rise in publishing becoming the Publishing Director for the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Managing Editor for the leading international Arts publisher Thames & Hudson. In 2001 Mark was in a car accident and had to have operations on his spine, which were complicated by him being born with spina bifida. Following a long rehabilitation period at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, Mark studied landscape design through an Open Learning course at KLC, Hampton Court. He passed with distinction and set up Mark Lane Designs Ltd, an award-winning landscape design practice (Landscape Designer of the Year 2020). Mark is also an Ambassador for four charities, Patron and a Trustee for two other charities, with a strong emphasis on social and therapeutic horticulture, gardening and health and wellbeing. A prolific writer, Mark’s book ‘Royal Gardens of the World’ has recently been published by Hachette (UK).