Young began his career in graphic design. At age 27 he began working in television, on the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside. Over nearly a decade, he worked his way up to become the show's producer in the early 1990s. His tenure was criticised for taking the show away from its social realist roots towards a more sensationalist, ratings-chasing format. He achieved record ratings for the series and for Channel 4. He also co-created and produced his own successful drama series for Channel 4, And The Beat Goes On.
He then moved on to become head of drama at the independent production company Pearson Television, where he oversaw work on ITV police drama The Bill and another soap opera, Channel 5's Family Affairs, which he created, and was executive producer on C5's legal drama series, the BAFTA-nominated Wing and a Prayer.
From 1997-2004, he moved to the BBC to become the Controller of Continuing Drama Series for the Corporation's in-house production arm. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing the organisation's in-house continuing episodic drama series. Programmes he oversaw for the BBC included the soap opera EastEnders; medical dramas Doctors (which he co-created), Casualty, and the latter's spin-off series Holby City, which he created; police dramas Dalziel and Pascoe, Waking the Dead, and Merseybeat; anthology shows The Afternoon Play and Murder in Mind; legal drama Judge John Deed; rural-set Down to Earth; comedy-drama Being April; and science-fiction series Doctor Who.
At the end of 2004, Young became head of drama at independent production company 19Television Limited, part of Simon Fuller's 19 Entertainment. Along with former BBC Head of Development Serena Cullen, who is now 19 Entertainment's head of development for film and television, he is charged with developing new drama formats for the UK and US markets. He now splits his time between the US and UK. He co-created, wrote, and produced a drama pilot for Fox in March 2007, Born in the USA. He then co-wrote and sold another pilot to The CW in the US, Austin Golden Hour, a real-time medical drama series format for the 2008-2009 season.
The Young and the Restless
On 31 December 2015, Young cryptically said on his Twitter about what is next for him in 2016, "This year I'm going to be Young and I'm going to be Restless." A few days later, Young sent several other tweets to the Twitter account of the American soap opera, The Young and the Restless, announcing his hiring on the show. It was confirmed by CBS Daytime that Young had been hired as a producer. Young's first episode as a supervising producer aired on 1 February 2016 and his last episode aired on 12 July 2016.
On 8 June 2016, after news of the firing of Y&R executive producer Jill Farren Phelps, came confirmation that Young had replaced Phelps as executive producer of the American soap. His first episode as executive producer aired on 13 July 2016. On 31 July 2017, Daytime Confidential announced that both Kay Alden and Sally Sussman Morina would be departing from the show, with Young being named as the new head writer.
In December 2018, reports were released saying that Young had departed the show as executive producer and head writer. Young's departure was later announced, as was the news of Josh Griffith and Tony Morina taking over his positions as head writer and executive producer, respectively.
In September 1999, he gave the Huw Weldon Royal Television Society lecture at their Cambridge convention. In July 2004, in a poll of industry experts conducted by Radio Times, he was voted the 9th-most powerful person in television drama. In May 2005, he received a special award for his contribution to television from ITV's Soap Awards. He was the producer of the widely derided Desperate Scousewives.
| Executive producer of Brookside
(with Phil Redmond)
| Executive producer of Casualty
(with Mervyn Watson: 2002–2004)
| Executive producer of Holby City
(with Johnathan Young: 1999)
(with Kathleen Hutchison: 2002–2004)
12 January 1999–2004
| Executive producer of Doctors
Jill Farren Phelps and Charles Pratt Jr.
| Executive producer of The Young and the Restless
(with Charles Pratt Jr.: 13 July–6 December 2016)
(with Sally Sussman: 7 December 2016–24 October 2017)
13 July 2016–5 February 2019
Anthony Morina and Josh Griffith
| Head writer of The Young and the Restless
(with Josh Griffith: 20 March 2019 – 1 April 2019)
25 October 2017 – 1 April 2019
- "Mal Young". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. July 8, 2002. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- Denise Petski (December 18, 2018). "Mal Young Exits 'Young And The Restless' As Head Writer & EP". Deadline. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- John Plunkett (August 2, 2005). "Family Affairs: 'it's not as bad as you think'". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- Jamey Giddens (January 10, 2016). "The Young and the Restless Snags High Profile U.K. Soap Exec Mal Young". Daytime Confidential. Confidential Media, Inc. (SAY Media). Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- "Mal Young, Controller of Continuing Drama Series, to leave the BBC". BBC News. September 28, 2004. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- "Leslie has the Merseybeat". Liverpool Echo. August 13, 2002. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- "EastEnders supremo quitting BBC". BBC News. September 28, 2004. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- "The Futon's First Look: "Austin Golden Hour" (The CW)". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- Candace Young (July 13, 2016). "Mal Young replaces Jill Farren Phelps as Y&R's executive producer". SheKnows Media. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- Eades, Chris (January 11, 2016). "The Young and the Restless Hires UK Soap Producer Mal Young". CBS Soaps In Depth. Bauer Media Group. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- "Confirmed! Jill Farren Phelps Out at Y&R". Soap Opera Digest. American Media Inc. June 8, 2016. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- Giddens, Jamey (July 31, 2017). "The Young and the Restless SHOCKER: Sally Sussman and Kay Alden to Retire; Mal Young in as New Head Writer! (EXCLUSIVE)". Daytime Confidential. Confidential Media, Inc. (SAY Media). Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- Bowe, Jillian (December 18, 2018). "Did Mal Young Get the Boot at The Young and the Restless?". Daytime Confidential. Confidential Media, Inc. (SAY Media). Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- Bowe, Jillian (December 18, 2018). "Breaking News: Tony Morina and Josh Griffith to Helm The Young and the Restless". Daytime Confidential. Confidential Media, Inc. (SAY Media). Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- "Insider: Mal Young and singer Mari Wilson tie the knot in LA". Liverpool Echo. August 13, 2014. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- Janine Gibson and Julia Hartley-Brewer (September 17, 1999). "Soaps are now the 'soul of the nation'". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
- Tina Miles (May 8, 2013). "Desperate Scousewives executive producer Mal Young on why the Liverpool show was axed". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved February 26, 2019.