What brings the SAS hard man Andy McNab to tears? Opera

The Times
11 October 2014, by Jack Malvern Arts Correspondent

Opera-goers who managed to get through Sir Nicholas Hytner’s production of Cosi Fan Tutte without shedding a tear may congratulate themselves for their mental toughness. They are more resilient than Andy McNab.

The former SAS sergeant, whose account of his capture and torture in Iraq in Bravo Two Zero made him the bestselling combat author in the world, told an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival that he has only ever cried once in his life, at one of Mozart’s most frivolous works.

Go here for the full article in The Times (unfortunately with subscribtion only)

If you want to give Cosi Fan Tutte a try yourself you can watch it on You Tube  – with English subtitles which is kind of convenient to get some understanding of the play 😉 It must be brilliant since it got Andy to sit in a chair for over three hours in a row!

Article comes with another great photo by Gareth Iwan Jones Photography

The Times - Andy McNab: "I love opera. It's amazing"

The Times – Andy McNab: “I love opera. It’s amazing”


Andy McNab “We wouldn’t need Special Forces if we could just go out and do it simply”

Andy McNab was on BBC Radio 4 Today talking about the realism of hunting down IS militants and rescuing hostages by the SAS. What’s the percentage of success.

Visit the BBC Radio 4 website to Listen Again. Item starts at 2.38.30h

BBC World Service Radio: “Islamic State continues to hold and murder Western hostages but why is it so hard to find and rescue them? Andy McNab is a former British Special Forces soldier who’s commanded rescue missions.”


Andy McNab – Ex-SAS soldier on Bravo Two Zero, being tortured and copycats – Truthloader

“We got former SAS soldier and Bravo Two Zero operation leader in to talk to Truthloader about that mission and the worst part of being held hostage, his career as an author and why the anonymity is still a thing.”

Ex-SAS soldier Andy McNab answers YOUR questions – Truthloader  

“Former SAS sergeant Andy McNab answers your questions from Facebook, Twitter and Google + about ISIS, Bravo Two Zero, dopplegangers and would he shoot his torturers.”


Andy McNab interview: “Keeping my identity secret is a challenge”
The Big Issue – 4 July 2014

The SAS man-turned-author talks surfing, Margaret Thatcher, abstinence – and his love of opera

Keeping my identity secret – commercially, it’s a challenge.
I could do a lot more things – I’ve been asked to do films. But in effect I get the best of both worlds because I can bounce around without getting stopped in the street, all that weird stuff. That’s the downside of fame.

The character in my new series of books initially came from an approach from a film studio to be involved with a franchise.
He was called Tom Mullin at first because that sounded nice and hard. But the studio went, nah, that’s not British enough – we want to call him Tom Buckingham. Fortress is Tom getting involved with the right wing in the UK, in an undercover capacity.

As we’ve seen in the recent European elections, the right wing is extremely organised these days, certainly in mainland Europe.
There’s no bomber jackets any more, these guys have got Armani suits. In the UK we’ve got right-wing light, Ukip and all that. Compared with these guys, Ukip are just playing at it.

As you get older you become more politically aware.
As a 17- or 18-year-old squaddie I didn’t really care. I only became interested in the politics when Thatcher came in and she gave everyone a 24 per cent pay rise. Getting in the SAS I was more politically aware because you’re doing more strategic sort of work – taking direct orders from politicians.

My writing routines vary because I travel a lot.
If I’m at home, chances are I won’t even get dressed – I’ll just be dossing around in a dressing gown or a pair of shorts and flip-flops. Get in, get on with it immediately – I won’t even have a wash. If it’s one of them days, I can’t even be arsed to go and get anything to eat, so I’ll just have a bowl of cornflakes.

I don’t drink alcohol at all.
I drink far too much tea instead. I can drink three cups an hour easy. That comes from the military – if there’s nothing going on, there’s a brew on.

To the point of obsession, I love surfing.
It’s like an addiction – I’m sure there’s surfing anonymous out there or something. For holidays I tend to go where the surfing’s good. Hawaii, Costa Rica, loads on the South West coast in the UK. And certainly when I’m in Los Angeles. A few weeks ago me and my daughter went paragliding.

I’m an absolutely huge opera fan.
Most opera is fantastic – the storylines, the three-act drama, the way the morals are told. We’ve been to the English National, and we’ve also been to La Scala in Milan. I’m trying to get tickets for the Ring Cycle by Wagner but my wife says she’s not coming to that because it goes on for 15 hours.

Because I’m on the board of a private military company I’ve been back to Baghdad loads of times since the events of Bravo Two Zero.
I went back to Abu Ghraib, back to the interrogation centre. What’s going on right now in Iraq with ISIS, it’s interesting because we’re back to square one. It’s really crazy because some of those groups, certainly when they were in Syria, we were supporting them. It’s just history repeating itself. I don’t think we’re going to see British soldiers there because we don’t have the capability any more.

Andy McNab’s latest book Fortress is out now  

Source: The Big Issue


Andy McNab interview: “The advance of ISIS could see Baghdad fall”
The Big Issue 20 June 2014

As the fate of Iraq hangs in the balance, former SAS man McNab fears the nation’s capital could be overthrown by ISIS extremists

As the crisis in Iraq rages on, SAS hero turned best-selling author Andy McNab has warned that the advance of ISIS could see Baghdad fall.

McNab, who was captured behind enemy lines in Iraq during the first Gulf War, said that a lack of Allied groundtroops could allow insurgents to take the Iraqi capital.

“The only country that will do something, if anything really needs to be done, because they’ve got the capability, are the United States,” McNab, pictured, told The Big Issue. “But [for the UK] to actually put boots on the ground – we’re coming up to an election year… both countries are being very wary of putting boots on the ground. So there is a possibility that Baghdad would fall.”

He slammed political moves to downscale army numbers and sees this a problem for the future, and the key thing that will stop a move back to Iraq.

“Politicians just want to get out of Afghanistan before the election – they don’t want to commit troops [to Iraq]. We don’t want to commit troops, because it will show a weakness of policy at the moment – downscaling our army.

“We’re apparently about six years behind in recruiting and training reserves for the forces. There’s just isn’t what’s called the force projection capability to go and do it [British intervention]. All nations are scaling down. But the fact is that at the moment, we really don’t have the force projection to first of all get our troops from A to B, and more importantly sustain them while they’re there.”

David Cameron warned this week of the threat to the UK if an “extreme Islamist regime” is created in central Iraq. McNab, meanwhile, claims Britain was “supporting some of those groups” recently in Syria.

“Certainly what’s going on at the moment with Isis, it is really interesting because unfortunately we’re back to square one,” he said. “And it’s really, really crazy, because some of those groups, certainly when they were in Syria, we were supporting them. But it’s just history repeating itself. We’ve done it for centuries.”

Source: The Big Issue