20 August 2009 – By Chris Visser

He survived torture in Iraq, worked undercover in Northern Ireland and is believed to be wanted dead by a string of terrorist groups. Yet former SAS officer-turned-author Andy McNab could be set for his toughest challenge yet – surviving a trip to the mean streets of Preston.

McNab, who penned Bravo Two Zero, is to give a talk about his new books… but the Lancashire Evening Post cannot reveal where. A publicist issued a list of security demands to keep the 49-year-old safe on his visit.

These included not revealing the location of his visit, banning photographs and having his every move shadowed by burly guards. And it seems the security threat to Mr McNab’s life is greater than the head of state – Queen Elizabeth II.

The Lancashire Evening Post reported on May 20 last year that the Queen was to visit Fulwood barracks to present the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment with its new colours on June 26 – a FULL month before the event – after it was announced on a list of Mayoral engagements.

Organiser Elaine Silverwood, of the SilverDell book store in Kirkham, said: “They have got their driver but I have got to have a security presence and it will be a closed event.”

“I have got to have all the names and addresses of ticket holders on a spreadsheet. No photographs will be allowed at all. I have heard when he does these events there’s strict criteria that you have to fulfil.”

But Ms Silverwood is thrilled to have secured an event with the author of Bravo Two Zero and Immediate Action. She added: “It’s just a great opportunity; he does very little promotion.”

“He will be talking then will do a question and answer session and sign his books. It’s dead exciting and I’m chuffed to bits.”

Andy McNab, which is a pseudonym, came to public prominence in 1993 following his account of the failed SAS patrol Bravo Two Zero in Iraq, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. The book, later turned into a film starring Sean Bean, features the story of an eight-man SAS patrol tasked with destroying communication links between Baghdad and north-west Iraq and with tracking Scud missile movements in the region during in the first Gulf War. It details how three of the team were killed, four were captured – including McNab himself – and one escaped. But the book has been controversial with alleged inconsistencies – the strength of enemy combat they encountered was disputed in Michael Asher’s The Real Bravo Two Zero.

The ex-soldier, who has also awarded the Military Medal for his service in Northern Ireland, has gone on to write various novels. But his life is deemed to be at risk and his identity and image remains a mystery.

He is due to discuss his new novel Exit Wound and non-fiction title Spoken From The Front – Real Voices from the Battlefield of Afghanistan.

Further details about the event will be released nearer the time.

Source: Lancashire Evening Post