Marcus Lush made his first forays into television in the 1990s, but it was a 2003 episode of travel show Intrepid Journeys that set him on a new broadcasting path. Since then the longtime talkback radio host has won acclaim and awards for Off the Rails, which chronicles his journey along New Zealand's railway lines, and travelled in varying directions for shows ICE, North, and South.
Marcus was raised largely in Auckland, the fourth son of a printer and a speech therapist. He began his long career in talk back by presenting a show on student station Radio BFM (now 95bFM), where he worked alongside Eating Media Lunch co-creator Paul Casserly. At the age of 24, he went on to take over the graveyard talk back shift on 1ZB.
In the mid-90's Marcus was seen on television, on late night TV2 news show Newsnight. He spent time as host of the show's less serious half, presenting stories on guinea-pig shows and lawnmower collectors. He followed it soon after with a brief stint on the programme Bizarro, alongside Belinda Todd.
It was travel that signaled a new path for Marcus' television career. It showcased his informal, musing, ad-hoc style to best advantage. In the first series of Intrepid Journeys in 2003, he spent time amongst the pyramids and camels of Egypt. The show was directed and co-produced by Melanie Rakena, from Auckland production company Jam TV. After working on it, Marcus refused to make television with anyone else.
Melanie & Marcus went on to make Off the Rails, which was a big ratings success. The programme follows the trainspotting Lush as he ventures from his transplanted home town of Bluff to Opua in the North, utilizing a range of railways - including coal, freight and steam. Lush argued that the show was about more than trains: "That's why we subtitled it ‘A Love Story'. It was really a love story about New Zealand."
Marcus took away the award for best presenter at the 2006 NZ Screen Awards; Off the Rails also won awards for best director and best information/ lifestyle programme at the 2005 Qantas Screen Awards.
Marcus and the Jam TV crew followed Off the Rails with Ice, a five-part series about the history, environment and wildlife of Antarctica.
In December 2008 he began work on a new television series: South, in which he explored Southland and Otago. South began airing the following August, winning him another Qantas award for best Presenter, and a best director gong for Melanie Rakena.
February 2011 saw the debut of a follow-up show from the same team: North. This time Marcus headed north from Auckland, visiting a number of nearby islands along the way.
Marcus is also currently the host of breakfast talkback show on Radio Live.