Mark Pilgrim Biography: Age, Net Worth, Pictures, Nationality, Children, Death, Books

Posted By Johnson Ajiboye

Mark Pilgrim was a South African media personality who had a successful career as a radio and television presenter, voice artist, motivational speaker, and author.

He was best known for hosting popular shows such as Big Brother South Africa, Big Brother Africa, and Power of 10.

He was also a cancer survivor who shared his inspiring story with others and raised awareness for the disease. He died on March 5, 2023, at the age of 53, after battling stage four lung cancer.


  • Full name: Mark Pilgrim
  • Nickname: Baldy
  • Date of birth: September 20, 1969
  • Age: 53 years old (at the time of death)
  • Gender: Male
  • Place of birth: Kent, England
  • Nationality: South African
  • Profession: Radio and television presenter, voice artist, motivational speaker, author
  • Height: 1.83 m
  • Parents: N/A
  • Siblings: Two brothers
  • Spouse: Nicole Torres (m. 2007; div. 2020)
  • Children: Two daughters, Tayla-Jean and Alyssa
  • Relationship status: Engaged to Adrienne Watkins at the time of death
  • Net worth: $3.5 million

Early Life & Education

Mark Pilgrim, who was 53 years old when he passed away, was born on September 20, 1969, in Kent, England. He grew up in a small village called Allhallows, where he lived in a trailer (or mobile home) with his family.

He always dreamed of something bigger than where he was and wanted to be a radio deejay when he grew up. He moved to South Africa at 9 with his parents, while his dad and brothers stayed in the UK.

He attended Sasolburg High School, where he completed his matric in 1986. He then studied at Wits and UNISA, graduating with a B.COM degree in Industrial Psychology and Business Economics.

Personal Life

Mark Pilgrim was married to Nicole Torres, whom he met in 2004 and married in 2007 on a tropical beach in Mauritius.

They had two daughters, Tayla-Jean and Alyssa, born in 2008 and 2010 respectively. However, their marriage ended in divorce in 2020, after 13 years of being together.

Pilgrim then got engaged to Adrienne Watkins, who was with him until his last breath. Pilgrim was a cancer survivor who was first diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1988 when he was 18 years old.

He underwent surgery and chemotherapy and was declared in remission. He also suffered a heart attack in 2008, which caused 20% damage to his heart.

He had a stent placed in his artery and recovered from the incident. In 2022, he revealed that his cancer had returned and that he had stage four lung cancer, which had spread to his femur, the base of his spine, and lymph nodes.

He documented his journey on social media and received support from his fans and friends. He also contracted COVID-19 in June 2022 but managed to overcome it. He died on March 5, 2023, at his home, surrounded by his loved ones.


Mark Pilgrim started his career on Voice of Wits campus radio in the 80s. He joined 5FM in 1995, where he hosted various shows and became a popular deejay.

He left 5FM in 2003 and joined 94.7 Highveld Stereo in Johannesburg. He also hosted a chart show broadcast on two radio stations simultaneously, KFM and 94.7, in 2007.

He retired from radio in 2014 but returned to the new Hot 91.9FM in Johannesburg. He then moved to Hot 102.7FM in 2021, where he worked until his death.

He won several awards for his radio work, including the MTN Radio Award for Best Weekend Radio Show in South Africa in 2015, the Liberty Radio Award for the Best Daytime Show in South Africa in 2019, and the South African Radio Awards Hall of Fame induction in 2021.

He also had a successful television career, hosting 10 shows. He was most famous for hosting both Big Brother South Africa seasons, the first season of Big Brother Africa, and the MNET game show Power of 10.

He also hosted shows such as New Moves, Retail Therapy, Face 2 Face, Sex, Blue Wave, and What’s Brewing.

He was also a regular DJ at corporate functions and nightclubs, a voice artist for radio and TV commercials, an MC for gala events, and a motivational speaker who shared his story of overcoming cancer and following his dreams.

He also wrote several books, including Dive into Python, a guide to the Python programming language, and Every Exit, a memoir of his life and career.

Net Worth

Mark Pilgrim had an estimated net worth of $3.5 million, which he earned from his radio and television career and his other ventures.


Mark Pilgrim died on March 5, 2023, at the age of 53, after losing his battle with stage four lung cancer.

He passed away peacefully at his home, with his fiancée Adrienne Watkins, by his side. His death was announced by his radio station, Hot 102.7FM, and confirmed by his managing director, Lloyd Madurai.

His family thanked the public for being part of his journey, loving, celebrating, and always supporting him. His death was mourned by his fans, friends, colleagues, and the South African media industry. He was remembered as a fighter, a legend, a hero, and an inspiration.


Mark Pilgrim was involved in a controversy in 1992 when he was a sophomore at Cornell University and a part-time employee of Cornell Information Technologies.

He and another student, David Blumenthal, embedded a computer virus, MBDF, into three games and uploaded them from Cornell’s computer lab to a public server at Stanford University.

The virus disrupted Macintosh computers internationally. The virus originated at Cornell, and Pilgrim and Blumenthal were arrested and charged with computer tampering.

They pled guilty and were sentenced to 520 hours of community service, forfeiture of seized computer equipment, and payment of restitution to Cornell and other affected parties.

They also faced disciplinary hearings and did not continue as Cornell students. Pilgrim later regretted his actions and said he learned from his mistake.

Social Media

  • Instagram handle: N/A
  • Twitter handle: @N/A


  • Dive into Python
  • Dive into Python 3
  • Every Exit

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