2008
06.11

This was in a lot of articles but I’m quoting The Telegraph for having the most catchy title.

01 Nov 2008

Lord Ashcroft, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, is investing millions in an e-commerce venture launched by Andy McNab, the former SAS soldier, that sells virtual books to mobile phones.

The millionaire businessman and philanthropist has taken a minority stake in GoSpoken.com, a platform that Mr McNab launched earlier this year. The service allows mobile phone users to access audio or text versions of books over their handsets.

Lord Ashcroft is believed to have invested “single digit millions” in return for the stake, according to executives close to the company.

Although the men seem an unlikely pairing, they are both keen military authors. Mr McNab’s works include Bravo Two Zero and Seven Troop, while Lord Ashcroft has written books including Special Forces Heroes: Extraordinary True Stories of Daring and Valour, for which Mr McNab wrote the foreword.

Mr McNab said: “The commitment of Lord Ashcroft and his investment team reinforces the potential of GoSpoken. They add another level of skill and experience that will help develop the product and our expansion into international markets”.

GoSpoken.com has signed a partnership in Britain with Vodafone. Tony Lynch, who co-founded the company with Mr McNab, said that it has signed up major British publishers as well as the BBC. The e-commerce firm is also planning to expand into Germany in the near future.

Lord Ashcroft said that the company has good growth potential. “It is early days, but we believe they have already in place the right people, the established platform and the necessary content to build a very successful business,” he said.

Source: The Telegraph

2008
06.11

An article in InTheNews:

Thousands of servicemen and women ‘at risk through policy change’

Andy McNab has argued that putting post-operational care in the hands of the NHS has left thousands of servicemen and women at risk.

The former SAS soldier, one of the most highly decorated servicemen in the history of the British army, says early 90s reforms which closed military hospitals have resulted in a significant number of ex-servicemen suffering from physical and mental problems after leaving the forces.

Read the article here

2008
06.11

I’m a bit behind with posting, been pretty busy and then got the flu. So trying to catch up since there’s been a LOT of interviews. This one we learned about thanks to Lisle, great!! Andy was a guest on the  Christian O’Connell Breakfast show.

You can ‘Listen Again’ to the show here, select 31 October

2008
01.11

On the 30th of October Andy was the Guest speaker at the National Army Museum in Chelsea London. Gary Curtis was lucky enough to get a ticket and he wrote us a review: 

National Army Museum, London
19.00 hours

I sit in the shop come cafe eating my muffin pondering if a 33 year old man like myself can justify buying the Action Man I can see on the shelf in front of me, even if he does come with full SAS black assault gear.

There was a certain amount of excited browsing going on from the people gathered here waiting to hear a talk from the SAS hero and author, Andy McNab!

I for one was very happy to buy Brute Force, the new Nick Stone thriller a week or so before it’s official release.

We all moved down to a rather grand room in the museum, took our seats and after a short bit of faffing about out comes Andy McNab, ahhh, so that’s what he looks like!

Andy starts by telling us his story in the army. From a young boy facing a life of crime to the Green Jackets and the various tours of Northern Ireland. His main motivation at this point was to buy cars between the tours and write them off! Next onto selection for the SAS. Andy mentioned his work in the regiment and the funny first meeting of his new mates in Seven Troop.

After Bravo Two Zero he said the MOD were keen for him to write about his experiences in Iraq. How this led to a best seller and his work in the media for newspapers and TV. Several trips to see the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq have shown him that the current British soldier is the best equipped of any generation of soldiers the UK has had, particularly the Osprey body armour which has stopped 50 cal rounds. He also mentioned the trauma care in Basra is the best in the world and doctors are keen to do a tour there to gain experience.

Andy mentioned a lot of people back in the UK are concerned about he amount of soldiers getting injured but he said 5 years ago they would have been killed instead.

Questions.

Andy offered to answer any questions the audience may have. Of course there was so many questions and so little time!

Firstly Andy was asked about PTSD and how it effected both friends of his in the Regiment and how army is much better in recognising it in soldiers today. He mentioned that the MOD were supportive of Andy writing Seven Troop and bring PTSD to the publics attention. He also mentioned his work for Help for Heroes. When asked how he was feeling, Andy said he barks at the moon every Thursday!

Secondly he was asked about women not being able to fight on the front line and Andy said that he had witnessed female soldiers fighting and there is no issues with it. He said that the lack of a front line is giving them a chance which isn’t often reported.

Andy was asked about the armed police being used more and more and how and when the SAS would be called in on counter terrorism duties. Andy said that the regiment would be used as the police do not use explosive entry. The SAS would always be called for any jobs that involved this.

There was talk on how his friends reacted to the success of Bravo Two Zero and some were jealous but most were very supportive. Sadly time ran out and there was a huge round of applause from us fans!

Book signing.

I was about fifth in line for the book signing, I was keen. Before hand I decided to take Bravo Two Zero, my original paperback as this was the book that got me hooked on McNab’s writing. My turn came. I walked up and put it down for Andy to sign, he laughed and said “that’s an old one”. He wrote ‘buy new one! Andy McNab’ in it! Next up was my wife with my Brute Force book and she asked Andy to sign it for me. ‘Two R’s or one’? he asked.

I was always nervous about meeting my heroes but Andy was down to earth and friendly. Once signed I shook hands with Andy, I got a grin and that was that!

No dramas!

Andy McNab signed Gary Curtis' book