One of our wonderful pilots Mark Shemilt , 46, wowed the listeners of BBC Radio Berkshire yesterday afternoon with tales of world records, big red balloons and cloud hopping above Berkshire and the surrounding counties.

Susanne Courtney known on the show as ‘Suze’, interviewed Virgin Balloon Flights pilot Mark for around 40 minutes allowing him to choose the records they played between talk time. True to the nickname Suze gave Mark as ‘Balloon Obsessive’, his choices of songs were of course ballooning related.

The first of Mark’s picks was non-other than ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ by The Rolling Stones blaring out it’s ‘Gas, Gas, Gas’ reference mid chorus, next on his playlist was Crowded House track ‘Weather With You’ signifying the plea pilots have for good ballooning weather each day.

Recognised by listeners in the Berkshire area, father-of-three Mark was pleased to hear a lady called Sylvia had phoned in mid interview to say she had had an amazing flight with Mark in her home county.

To listen to Mark’s interview simply follow link to BBC iPlayer or visit and select Phil Gayle’s show on Thursday 19th August .

Although he was nervous before his interview, we’re pleased Mark did a great job educating listeners about ballooning and hot air balloon rides with Virgin in the area.

Impressing the show host too, Mark has been invited to go back to BBC Radio Berkshire and share his experiences of his up and coming world record break set to happen in February 2011 with fellow Virgin Balloon Flights pilot Kenneth Karlstrom.

You too can fly with Mark in Berkshire , Hampshire , Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire , more information is available here.