Mark boasted on new reality series Instant Hotel that he was “batting above his average” when he first romanced wife Jannine, but the lady in question has a far different version of how they met.
It was back in their high school years when they attended neighbouring all boys’ and all girls’ schools that car-mad Mark caught Jannine’s eye.
“We caught the same bus,” she recalls. “And back then I was the one who chased him – he certainly wasn’t chasing me! I must have seen something in him.”
“I was pretty lucky,” laughs Mark, 60.
Today, the couple have been married for 37 years. And while they admit they’ve had the occasional argument during that time, the secret to their matrimonial success is simple: they work together.
That doesn’t just stand for their 50s-themed Instant Hotel but for all areas of their life.
“We just talk and communicate and work together,” says Jannine, 57. “Sure, we argue from time to time but I like to call it venting!”
“I think it’s pretty simple, we give and take,” adds Mark. “We’ve got plenty of the same interests but if Jannine’s got something she goes off and does her interest and I go off and do mine.”
One interest they certainly have in common is winning the grand prize of the trip to the US. They pair have never travelled outside Australia and America has always been the dream destination should they head off overseas.
“But Jannine’s scared because we’ll need a shipping container when I guy all the memorabilia I’d want to buy,” Mark jokes.
Still, win or lose, the loveable couple say they’ve had a great time taking part in the competition. And while there may seem to be tensions amongst some of their rivals, Mark and Jannine are eager to get the gang back together again once the series has left screens.
“We’ve invited everyone back to our accommodation next year for another wine tour and a bit of a reunion,” Mark says. “We got along with everyone.”