Although primarily known for playing over-the-top characters on British sitcoms like "Spaced" (Channel 4 1999-2001), "Jam" (Channel 4 2000) and "Green Wing" (Channel 4 2004-07), Mark Heap was also an accomplished dramatic TV actor. In addition to playing the iconic British novelist Charles Dickens in the BBC Two period drama "Desperate Romantics" (2009), Heap also nabbed recurring parts on "Hotel Babylon" (BBC One 2006-09) and the costume drama "Lark Rise to Candleford" (BBC One 2008-11). Furthermore, Heap also appeared in films like the Woody Allen comedy "Scoop" (2006) and the fantasy adventure movie "Stardust" (2007), thus underscoring his ease and versatility when jumping between serious and comedic roles in both films and television.
Born in India to an American mother and English father, Mark Heap's family eventually settled in Britain, where he would remain throughout his childhood. After a lifelong interest in performing, by his early 20s, Heap took to the road as a member of the Medieval Players touring company. The acting troupe would travel throughout England and put on early modern theater shows. As a member, Heap learned puppetry and juggling, all while honing his skills as a comedy performer. By the early 1990s Heap turned his attention towards the small screen, landing small parts on the British comedy shows "Packing Them In" (Channel 4 1992), "Kiss Me Kate" (BBC One 1998-2000) and "People Like Us" (BBC 1999). After jumping around from one guest spot to the next throughout the middle part of the decade, by the late '90s Heap was landing recurring roles on comedies like "How Do You Want Me" (BBC 1998-99) and "The Strangerers" (Sky1 2000). Television seemed to fit nicely with Heap's penchant for playing outlandish characters with an obsessive side, and throughout the 2000s, he made a name for himself by playing those types of roles on shows like "Spaced," "Green Wing" and "Jam." In addition to his television work, Heap also made the occasional film appearance, with small but notable appearances in "Scoop," "Stardust," and "Holy Flying Circus" (2011). Though his television work remained steady in the 2010s, in 2013 Heap landed a supporting part in Edgar Wright's apocalyptic comedy "The World's End," as well as a small role in the British comedy "All Stars," thus adding two more credits to his growing film acting resume.