Mick is an easy-going guy, who hopes to make it big as a musician. However his music career fails and he ends up selling CDs on a market stall in Albert Square. After several ill-fated attempts at a career change, he finally gets a chance of a music career when he is asked to tour with a band. Mick reluctantly decides to turn the offer down as he is the legal guardian of his half-sister, Kim McFarlane. However, Kim contacts Mick's musician contact and accepts the gig on his behalf. Kim is adamant that Mick should follow his dream, and so Mick leaves Kim in the care a relative away from the square, and leaves Walford for the tour in January 2002.
Mick is a musician and he arrives in Albert Square in June 1996, when his jazz band comes to audition for a regular gig in the Bridge Street café's night Bistro. Alan Jackson, manager of the night café, hears them play and instantly hires them. Mick's ex-girlfriend Frankie Pierre is the singer in the band, and she maliciously ruins several relationships on the Square before she quits the band, and leaves Mick with no band, and no source of income. He is forced to seek work elsewhere, so he starts work at the café in May 1997. In 1998, Mick decides to reform his band and holds auditions for another singer. After turning down many hopefuls, he finds a young female soloist named Lola Christie. Mick is immediately attracted to Lola and eventually the two start dating. However, later in the year Lola is offered a contract as a professional singer, so she dumps Mick and the band.
Later that year Mick is visited by his mother, Josie McFarlane, on holiday from Jamaica. Mick is nervous about Josie's visit as he has led her to believe that he is a successful musician. She is not pleased to discover Mick is working in a café. However, Josie has secrets of her own. She brings a young girl named Kim McFarlane with her, claiming she is a distant relative. However, eventually Josie admits that Kim is Mick's half sister - the result of an affair that Mick's late father had had many years before. Kim's mother is dead and Josie took Kim in rather than see her go into care. Josie also confesses that she had been conned in a Jamaican property scam and is now penniless. Mick is extremely shocked to discover that his parents had deceived him for so long, but he welcomes his mother and half-sister into his life and home. Mick soon warms to the idea of having a little sister. although he does find Kim's tagging around after him a little irksome at first. Later that year, Ian Beale fires Mick after several residents suffer a bout of food poisoning.
In January 1999, Mick makes friends with the new doctor, Fred Fonseca, and moves in with him. Fred later gives Mick a loan when he decides to take over Matthew Rose's CD stall. Later that year, Mick, Fred and a few other Walford residents go to Brighton, where Fred attends a medical convention. Whilst away, it becomes apparent to everyone, bar Mick, that Fred had something he wants to reveal. Fred is gay and is too afraid to admit his sexuality to Mick, so takes him to a gay club in the hope that Mick might 'cotton on'. Mick doesn't realise what Fred is trying to tell him and is extremely shocked when Fred finally confesses. Mick is hurt that Fred has felt unable to confide in him and that Fred doesn't fancy him! The friendship stays intact, despite Mick's mother (also Fred's receptionist) denouncing Fred's lifestyle as immoral. Mick later starts dating barmaid/ex-prostitute, Nina Harris. However, Mick's judgmental mother causes problems here too, when she discovers Nina's past. Mick and Josie's relationship is sorely tested, culminating in Mick branding his mother a 'lonely, bitter, old woman'. Soon after Josie is forced to leave England after a mix-up with her visa, leaving Kim in Mick's care. Mick and Nina's relationship ends as Nina leaves Walford to look after her dying father.
With the added financial responsibility of caring for his young sister, Mick gets a part-time job as a limousine driver for Phil Mitchell. However, he is sacked when Phil finds dog hair in the car, sparking a feud between them with Phil doing everything he can to undermine Mick. However, despite his dislike of Phil, Mick's constant money problems make him swallow his pride and ask for his job at the café back. He also has a spell as the radio controller for Barry Evans' cab firm. Early in 2002, Mick is offered a gig as a touring saxophone player in a band, but has to turn it down, due to being Kim's legal guardian. Soon after, he needs money to send Kim on a school trip and pleads with Phil for an advance on his wages. Phil refuses and Mick is forced to sell his saxophone to raise the money instead. When Kim discovers this, she buys his saxophone back with the money for her school trip, contacts Mick's musician contact and accepts the gig on his behalf. Kim is adamant that Mick should follow his dream, and so Mick leaves Kim with a relative away from the Square, and leaves Walford himself in January 2002.