You either love him or hate him but either way you have to admit as vape reviewers go TVP pulls no punches and when it comes to vaping he knows what he’s on about.
He certainly isn’t afraid to tell you exactly what he thinks of any device no matter how big its reputation or how many other ‘big named’ reviewers may have praised it.
I am of course talking about Mark aka The Vaping Postman – and given you voted him the runner up in our award for UK YouTube Reviewer of the Year 2017 – I reckon it’s a bit like those who voted for Donald Trump but didn’t like to admit it – y’all secretly love his style!
He is undoubtedly brash and at times [OK often] he turns the air blue – but underneath that rough diamond Northern exterior even the anti-TVP brigade have to admit he knows what he’s on about – this bloke knows vaping inside out.
Having followed his channel for a long time I have been impressed as to how the quality of those close-up build shots in particular have improved dramatically.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching his superb HD build sections – go and look after you’ve read this – it’s quite simply vape porn – wonderful camera work.
And with his fresh no nonsense knowledgeable style – it’s little wonder his subscriptions are climbing fast and at the time of writing close to 12k – a phenomenal rise and testament to sheer hard work and determination.
I had the very great pleasure of meeting Mark at last October’s Vaper Expo and can tell you as I told him he’s much taller in the flesh [lol] but a genuinely friendly and very warm bloke – though you wouldn’t like to upset him!
Saying that you wouldn’t want to upset his YouTube followers or #TVPARMY as they’re called – think the England cricket team’s Barmy Army with attitude and you’ll get my drift – they are a tight nit bunch who just like their fearless vaping leader take no sh!t!
OK so let’s see what the ‘Bad Boy’ of the UK YouTube review scene is all about as we go inside the mind of TVP – did you see what I did there 😉
BTW: and as you might expect there is some colourful language but hey we’re all adults right!
Why and when did you decide to stop smoking and start vaping?
It was around August 2014, my brother in law was vaping, he was on a little ego pen but I had a few toots on it and I knew instantly that this could be my ticket out of smoking.
Having smoked for 20 years I was desperate for a way out of that filthy life destroying habit.
Can you remember your first vape kit and e-liquid and how was it?
Yeah, I went to my local vape shop, (which was garbage by the way)….I picked up a vision spinner and a Kanger Protank 2 with 3 bottles of 10ml menthol liquid at 12mg…if I recall the whole setup cost me £80 which looking back is ridiculous lol.
Did you find quitting smoking hard?
I had tried about 5 times before vaping and failed every time, the longest I went was 6 months but always after a few beers I had a cheeky fag and that was it I was hooked again.
Smoking is one of the deadliest habits on the planet, once it has you it’s so hard to let go that’s why vaping is so important, it eases that transition from smoking and makes things a lot easier and smoother.
When and why did you decide to become a YouTube vape reviewer?
Fuck…I was watching the likes of Mark Todd, Vaping with Vic and Indoor Smokers when I first started getting into the hobby side of vaping. I watched them constantly for all the latest and greatest gear and liquids.
I remember watching Vic when he first started live casting on vapers.tv, we got to be semi friends and one day I thought you know what I want a crack at this…looking back it was silly, I’m not confident in front of camera, some say I am quite dull but I really thought I could add something to the review game.
I looked at the bigger picture and not just the here and now, I knew I could grow into something better over time.
What was your first review and how do you look at that review now?
My first review was for a liquid by viking vaporizers called HOD….Jesus Christ it was fucking terrible, you could literally see me shaking and the nerves were horrific.
Some people are born for the camera, me however I am not, I have had to grow into my role as a reviewer and I think I am still growing and learning all the time.
Is it fair to say you started off as a bit of a ‘bad boy’ among the vape review scene? Was there a reason for that?
Fuck yes! I was soooo controversial when I started, I upset many big reviewers mainly Vaping With Vic and Phat Vaper.
I’ve upset many more big names along my journey too. Listen, I speak my mind, I always have, it gets me into a lot of trouble but I would rather be totally honest than a fake and a fraud.
I’m crude, crass, foul mouthed and you know what, I apologise to absolutely nobody for that, this is who I am if you don’t like it and want things sugar coated go watch RIP Trippers!
Some of these reviewers need to remember where and what they started from and why they started doing this.
The ultimate goal is to convert smokers and to tell people what’s good and what’s shite.
Good to see you and Vic now good mates – but I am seeing antagonism between UK YouTube vape reviewers – what’s that all about and is it a good image for vaping?
Me and Vic have a long nasty history, we were arch enemies for 2 years, a lot was down to Kelvin Guy who is now gone. I reached out to Vic when he hit 20k subscribers and he responded and since then we have been building a bridge and slowly becoming friends again.
It’s not been easy let me tell you. I reckon some of us new boys are tired of the old ways and old crew who ran things for so long, it seems they had it all their own way but not any more.
We are a fresh new breed coming for their thrones.
Listen it is dog eat dog in this game, not everyone is gonna be friends, I can tell you now I want to be the UK’s number one reviewer as does Vic, as does every single reviewer with any ambition, if they tell you otherwise they are lying.
Is it good for vaping? No, but whatever industry you are in there will always be drama, put a group of grown ass men together and I guarantee they aren’t all getting on, it’s just magnified in our game.
Frankly I couldn’t give two shits if we don’t get on, we are not here for that…I am certainly not here to make any reviewer friends nor will I pamper to them.
If they are cool with me I’m cool with them it’s that simple.
Would you consider yourself the ‘bad boy’ of UK vape reviewers?
Absolutely yes…I do things a bit different, I am a northern boy, common as muck and tell you exactly how shit is.
A lot of stuck up people in this industry do not care for that style. the thing is, people and reviewers get stuck in their ways, when something new comes along they feel threatened, it’s nature, the law of the jungle if you like….I am a massive c**t in this game and pull zero punches…the way reviewers should be always.
Not everyone is gonna like my style, I respect that but I will never change no matter what comes my way.
If they don’t like me then they can fuck off, I make no apologies for who I am.
I’ve watched Jai Haze since his very early days and you and him have a bit of a ‘BROmance’ going on lol – so how did you guys get together and how is it working with him?
Me and Jai have been friends for about 8 months now, I first joined his Facebook group Wicks and Coils and we chatted briefly.
He then invited me onto his video series Inside the Minds, we were one on one and it went as good as any live cast could ever go. We hit it off immediately and he asked me to come on again….and again….until I was eventually his co-host.
I adore working with him, its not a chore like some things I look forward to his company all the time.
We talk a lot on the phone and whatsapp, Jai is the coolest guy I’ve met in this game, humble, honest and an all round good fucking egg and I consider him my friend, which is a rare thing in this game.
How do you find the time for the reviews with a demanding full time job – family – new puppy? Your wife must be very understanding!
Shit….now this is the tough one, it’s very hard Neil.
I work a full time job 45+ hours a week which is very demanding. I have 3 children, a wife, a new pup….so finding time for reviews is difficult, especially seeing as my office is still in the kitchen.
I am currently looking at expanding the house so I can have my own space but again that involves me investing more money.
My wife is amazing, she has helped me through this journey so much and without her there would be no TVP.
Juggling everything is a real challenge but I have managed so far so we will see what the future holds.
Last count you have 11k and rising fast YouTube subs – what do you put that down too?
Almost 12k as of writing this. Listen, it’s not been fucking easy, the road has been rocky as hell.
There were times when I thought fuck this I’m useless but I kept plugging away. You need to separate yourself from other channels, do not kiss ass, be yourself and never sell out.
If a company sends me something and it’s garbage I’ll tell you it’s shite, I am not afraid of upsetting them for the sake of a free mod and that’s where a lot of reviewers fail.
Honesty, integrity and zero bullshit will always shine through in the end.
Plus, I have invested heavily into new equipment, camera’s, pc’s, lighting, mics etc you have to improve for people to subscribe.
If you are stale and don’t invest in your brand you will never get success.
All in all I am about £7K into this channel with nothing back, so I reckon I’ve earned my spot mate.
What’s the future for the TVP Channel?
The future is bright, keep improving, keep trying to make better videos, keep shit 100% legit and keep being me.
Hopefully more and more companies will take notice of TVP and get in touch, I want to be the number one vape reviewer in the UK, then worldwide….and that’s not arrogance, that’s ambition….some people settle for just being, not me, I want to be the best at everything i do and this is no exception.
Having met you and watched many of your videos I can see you’re a perfectionist – so what’s your perfect vaping set-up?
haha this is true, I’m never totally happy.
My perfect vaping setup right now would be Sx mini G class with the steamcrave aromamizer plus on top with raspberry just jam in.
Vaping just does not get any better than that.
Anything you’d like to say to your followers and other vape reviewers?
Yeah, if you are in the #TVPARMY then I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and if you’re not then get your arse over and get involved.
I have the best support on the planet and they humble me daily they really do- some have been there since day one which is amazing and I love them all.
To reviewers? Keep doing your thing, and look over your shoulder cos TVP is coming for you…there are some I respect and there are many I don’t….but seriously it’s a tough fucking gig, I respect anyone that does this as it truly is a lot of work for very little reward….
2018 is gonna be massive for me,come along for the ride c**ts!
The New Breed Of Vape Reviewers
I’d like to thank Mark aka TVP very much for taking the time out of his crazy busy schedule to do this interview.
Just to show what kind of guy he is – I sent this over late at night thinking as a real life postman he’d be in bed.
So I was gobsmacked a couple of hours later – we’re talking long after midnight and I couldn’t sleep – that I checked my emails to find he’d sent the interview through – talk about a first class delivery!
[that has been my one and only postal pun – I had so many too lol]
Trust me I have had to wait days and sometimes weeks for a quote let alone a full interview – where does he get his energy from?
It’s that sort of commitment and dedication to the task he’s set himself – becoming the very best vape reviewer he can either in the UK – Europe or the World – that I’m sure will see him achieve his goals.
Despite what some corners of the vaping world might say and think – I believe the vape community needs more reviewers like TVP who help you not only quit the cancer sticks – but also tell you the stone cold truth – before you hand over your hard earned cash on the next ‘big thing’ with a reputation built on promoters not reviewers.
And if that means a few choice words or offending the status quo then so be it.
I think you can tell I like him and his reviewing style – particularly now it’s starting to mature.
Some might call it ‘tabloid’ but as a former reporter I can tell you the very best tight and extremely clever writing is done by tabloid reporters – short sharp memorable words that have an impact.
There will always be fans of the shall we say ‘old school broadsheet’ [think the Times] style of reviewing but tastes change – people now want quick fixes of info and entertainment that’s presented well – written or video.
Look I’m probably old enough to be his dad and given as a younger man I was a bit of a rebel [hopefully I still have a bit of the rebellious streak left in me yet] I recognize one when I see one and Mark nailed it when he said:
We are a fresh new breed coming for their thrones…Honesty, integrity and zero bullshit will always shine through in the end.
TVP – our own Dean the Devil Vaper and Big Chris from Empire and now Vaping With Vic who’s pledged to go back to being a little more punchy when he needs to be – are without doubt ‘the new breed’ of YouTube vape reviewers who tell it like it is – without fear or favour.
Let’s just hope vaping companies understand that and continue to offer support even when a review goes against them 😉
On behalf of all of us here at EcigClick I’d like to thank Mark very much for taking the time to do this interview and wish him and his family the very best wishes for the future.
BTW next week I’ll be chatting with the legend that is Dean the Devil Vaper…