Howard Marks' outspoken wit and liberal opinions -- not to mention his murky past as a drug smuggler, has made him something of an icon in the world of literature.
Marks has got one of the most unlikely CVs in stand-up, progressing from a little Welsh mining town to Oxford University, where he earned himself a degree in nuclear physics. He worked with the British Secret Service for a time, and had connections with the Mafia, IRA, MI6 and CIA. He was arrested by the DEA in 1988 and sentenced to 25 years at America's toughest federal penitentiary, serving just seven.
His live shows frequently see him discussing his job as a drug smuggler, where he offers his outspoken views on drug use and legalisation.