Marion is a native West Cumbrian, born in Maryport and educated in Cockermouth. After graduating in American and Russian Studies at the University of Manchester she trained as a newspaper journalist in Leeds and as a radio broadcaster in Manchester. She spent most of her career in London where she first worked as a current affairs journalist and presenter with Channel 4. She then ran her own television production company for several years while her children were young. For 15 years she held senior executive roles at ITV, the BBC and the commercial television regulator, the Independent Television Commission. Before retiring she worked in the charity sector, first as Director General of the Landscape Institute, then Chief Executive of One World Media. Previous voluntary and trustee roles include Chair of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, Vice-chair of the UK Tree Council and Project Director for the Lachlan Trust which is conserving Old Castle Lachlan on Loch Fyne in Scotland.