It’s been awfully quiet here. Nothing to do with forgetting our readers and/or forgetting about Andy McNab. It’s just like the expression “Life is what happens to you, while you’re busy making other plans”. Here’s an update covering the last few months.. hope you enjoy!!

Andy McNab: Video Games do not cause Violence
31 October 2011

“People have always been fascinated by war – games are just another medium. There have been war films since the beginning of cinema -…it’s all part of the same thing” McNab is right but not really putting forth a strong argument. “…the big argument about games inducint violence – they’re a load of nonsense; violence has always been there”
Go here to read more

Andy McNab on special learning mission to McVitie’s in Manchester
31 October 2011

“It’s been a coup to have both a real life hero and successful author visit the Learn 4 U centre at McVitie’s. The event with Andy McNab resulted in a real buzz within the factory,” said Jonathan Waterhouse, USDAW learning rep coordinator at McVitie’s Manchester. “The Six Book Challenge is another great example of how USDAW unionlearn representatives at McVitie’s have engaged with our union members, allowing us to reinvigorate or start a reading culture with the support of both The Reading Agency and Stockport Libraries.
Go here to read all about this event

Foto by Mike Corrie








To see more photos of the event Go here

Andy McNab on Twitter: “Great visit to mcvities, thanks guys! The learn4u education centre is a great initiative, we need more of these, good for staff and company. And still eating all those biscuits!”

Andy McNab in The Sun: Who airs wins
26 November 2011

After girl is trapped, SAS hero Andy McNab reveals his clothes horse survival guide.
Just how dangerous can it be to use a clothes horse?
Go here to read the full article

Andy McNab: I owe everything to the military education system
30 November 2011

Last night, at a secret location in the East End, Andy McNab addressed the London branch of the Royal Green Jackets Association, the body representing former members of the Rifles Regiment. McNab, a decorated Rifleman before he entered SAS folklore on the botched Bravo Two Zero mission, was drumming up support at a private bash for Care for Casualties, the regiment’s appeal to care for the families of its wounded and dead.
Go here to read more

Andy McNab on judging panel for the fourth annual Millies
28 November 2011

“Millies show truly remarkable work our Armed Forces do” ~ His Royal Highness Prince Charles

Prince Charles launched this year’s Sun Military Awards yesterday alongside senior Armed Forces chiefs and a host of stars from the worlds of showbiz and sport.

The judging panel for the fourth annual Millies — which takes place at London’s Imperial War Museum on December 19 — includes England footballer Frank Lampard, Sun columnist Jeremy Clarkson, TV adventurer Ross Kemp, SAS hero Andy McNab and Samantha Cameron, the Prime Minister’s wife.

SAS legend Andy McNab said: “The Millies show the public just a little of the courage of the servicemen and women that protect us.”
Go here to read the full article including photo of  Andy McNab with Prince Charles


Tesco Books Blog: Andy McNab – your questions, his answers
7 December  2011

George Terry: “A little while back we gave you guys the opportunity to put your questions to the ever-enigmatic Andy Mcnab. His latest book, Battlefield 3: The Russian, was released a month or so ago, accompanying a game of the same name which he also worked on, drawing upon his experiences in the SAS to offer guidance to Electronic Arts on some of the finer points of combat. Last week, Andy sent his answers back to us. Unfortunately, he couldn’t answer every question that you guys sent, but the answers that he has given is should serve to shed a little light on a writer who has always been something of a mystery to his fans.”
Go here to read all Q and A’s

Andy McNab on BBC 4 radio programme Food for Thought
December 2011

Andy was on the BBC 4 radio programme Food for Thought in December. Unfortunately this programme is not available to Listen Again. Below the text with this particular show. Didn’ t want to leave it out!

‘What do you want before the chip shop closes?’ was the phrase former Special Forces soldier Andy McNab got used to as a child. In Food For Thought, he describes his transition from a thirty-six-inch-waisted ‘fat kid’ to fit career soldier, after a spell in juvenile detention. Joining the army meant decent food and regular meal times. You could be up on a charge if you didn’t eat breakfast before Queen’s Parade.

Over spam, pick’n’mix and with condensed milk in his cuppa, Andy talks to Nina Myskow about feeling looked after by the army, the daily rituals of preparing dinner in huge Dixie pots and how he cooked on an army Hexy burner in the kitchen sink when he bought his first house. He was worried about the gas bill. These days, he doesn’t cook much but makes ‘Desperate Dan’ sausage and mash for a family special occasion. And, after a life in the military, the novelty of eating out still hasn’t worn off.

Andy also details the realities and deprivations of war time capture and there’s a frank revelation about the worse thing he’s ever eaten. Not for the squeamish. It’s all rather different to the boiled eggs and chocolate given to him by the Red Cross on his release, and the expensive kobe beef he has sampled since.
Source: BBC

Andy McNab writes foreword ‘Sniper in Helmand’ by ‘James Cartwright’
14 January 2012

Pen and Sword Books Launch New Title  ‘Sniper in Helmand’ – the Book That the MOD Tried to Stop Being Published.
‘Sniper in Helmand’ is a thrilling action-packed, yet very human, account of both front line service in the intense Afghanistan war and first-hand sniper action. Having never planned to write a book, James Cartwright was encouraged to write down his experiences as part of his treatment for post traumatic stress disorder.

Andy McNab inspired James to join the army and has written a moving foreword. James Cartwright, a pseudonym as his true identity cannot be revealed due to him being a Sniper. Snipers’ identities are not allowed to be revealed for their own safety, served with the Royal Anglian Regiment.
Source: PR Web

Radio Programme ‘Answer Me This!’  Episode 202 – about Andy McNab hiding his face
26 January 2012

Answer Me This! is a weekly comedy podcast in which Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann answer questions submitted by their listeners, with the assistance of Martin the Sound Man.

This episode: Olly is a staunch traditionalist when it comes to marriage (despite being, at the same time, staunchly anti-marriage); Helen guesses what Andy McNab’s mysterious face really looks like; and Martin the Sound Man mounts an impassioned defence of the underscore.
Go here to Listen to this episode  [Andy item starts at 18m15]

Andy McNab in The Sun – My View about Foodbanks
3 February 2012

Foodbanks are thriving as thousands hit by the recession find it harder to feed their families.

Desperate Brits can get supplies to last at least three days from the charity projects. There were 79 foodbanks across the UK in 2010 – now the Trussell Trust alone run 170. And more than 100,000 people rely on food parcels, donated by locals, to survive.
Go here to read the full article

By Andy McNab

When I was a boy in the late Sixties, foodbanks were a valuable source of goods for our family.

My parents weren’t skilled workers and by the end of the month money was very tight. We would go along to the centre in South London and stock up on dented tins of fruit and broken biscuits. It was a lifeline for my mum and dad.

It’s shocking to think people are forced to visit foodbanks in 2012.

Yet the statistics speak for themselves – there is a huge need.

Andy McNab in The Sun about surviving in sub-zero temperatures

The Sun: ‘Snow may be cold but it can keep you warm’ 

The survival of a Swedish man apparently trapped in snow for two months in temperatures as low as -30°C has shocked the world. Peter Skyllberg was found inside a frozen car by snowmobile drivers in Umea on Friday. He claims to have kept alive by sucking on snow.
Here, an SAS legend offers tips for surviving in sub-zero temperatures.

21 February 2012 
By Andy McNab, SAS legend

“This is an incredible tale of survival. This guy should have gone down after about four to five weeks without any food.

I am amazed he was found alive. The biggest things that will kill you are being wet, cold and hungry.

Sort any of those out and you stand a better chance of survival.

The first thing in his favour was being covered in snow. In effect, he was surrounded by a layer of insulation.

Snow may be cold but it can keep you warm.”
Go here and read the full article by Andy

SAS author Andy McNab fixes city roles for military
20 February 2012

Thriller writer Andy McNab is juggling more than one deadline. When the former SAS hardman is not working on his latest novel – a Channel Tunnel thriller starring his new character Tom Buckingham – McNab is fixing jobs in the City for service leavers as a director of military recruitment agency ForceSelect.
Go here to read more

Andy McNab about Prince Harry in Firing Line
26 February 2012

Military top brass are terrified Prince Harry could kill another Brit or Afghan kids if he goes to Afghanistan.

The deadly fears over Top Gun Harry were revealed by SAS hero Andy McNab.
Speaking at a ForceSelect Foundation fundraiser, he said: “Top brass are worried and have discussed how to deal with it. They are worried about a blue on blue. It’s a political situation.”
Go here to read the full article


Photographer Gareth Iwan Jones made some great photos of Andy and we’re happy to post them here. If you like these check Gareths website!

Gareth Iwan Jones
t | +(44) 07500 829 003 –
w | www.garethiwanjones.com
b | www.blog.garethiwanjones.com

Andy McNab by Gareth Iwan Jones

Andy McNab by Gareth Iwan Jones

Andy McNab by Gareth Iwan Jones


Here’s 2 more…


Military Aid – Andy McNab and DICE
Text: Jonas Elfving (Gamereactor Sweden)
Published 4 August 2011

Author and former SAS operative Andy McNab has joined forced with Battlefield developers DICE, and we had a chat with him to see just what he’s been up to.

Prior to my fifteen minutes with Andy McNab at the DICE offices in Stockholm I learn that photographies are strictly forbidden. There are or have been terrorist groups who have targeted him and if you do a google search for him you are likely to come up with a disguised photo or a simple silhouette. Recently a more revealing photo appeared in the tabloids, but when asked about it by The Guardian, McNab’s agent simply asked “ah, but how do you know it’s him?”

Best to be sure, it’s really McNab I’m sitting in front of.

How do I know you are who you claim to be?
“Good question. Perhaps you don’t. Perhaps I’m going to London tomorrow and turn up for interviews pretending to be Terry Pratchett.” (laughs)

You’ve gone from writing novels, to helping with movies, to audio novels with real sound effects, and seem very interested in different mediums. What do you like about games?
“It’s a fantastic medium, I play with my God sons and get beaten every time. But when I was asked to come on board for Battlefield 3 last year, I was fascinated by how these things are created. It’s a similar process to making a film, but everything in films are expensive: towers, cameras, all the employees and so on. But in the process of making a game you can change it all, stop and think about it.

In video games everyone is part of the creative process, unlike in the motion picture industry. There are people there to hammer in nails or sort the electricity. There is a natural enthusiasm among the people working here at DICE, you can tell it’s guys who enjoy computers and play a lot in their spare time.”

What have you and DICE learned from eachother during the project?
“I have learned an awful lot about the technology that goes into creating a game, especially from the sound guys. It’s crazy, the have 60 or 70 different sounds from the one and same M4 fired – in rain from a distance at 4 in the morning, indoors around s7 at night and so on. The level of details is just simply fantastic. They do their geek things, and it’s great. The amount of work that goes into one fired round is enormous.”

We have called the sound team the best in the business.
“Definitely, I hardly understand what they are talking about half of the time. I simply smile and nod my head.” (laughs)

Having experienced war first hand, have you been able to teach them something about sound as well?
“Yes, one example of what we have discussed is something called “crack and thump”, where you can tell the distance to something who fires off an artillery piece. First you hear a “crack”, when it’s fired, and then the “thump” when it hits the ground. With this information you can measure a rough distance to the enemy. Even if distances aren’t great in the games DICE have been able to work with that information.”

You experience the real thing and then used your experience for both works of fiction and non-fiction. Now you’re lending a hand in creating a game lots of young people are going to play. Do you feel any sense of responsibility, is there a message gamers should get out of it?
“Not a message, but a responsibility. Games are often treated quite poorly in the media. But the people here are very responsible and think things over – should we do it this way or that way. There are limits to how explicit you can be. There is a mutual agreement between those who produce games and those who buy it. You don’t let you 9 year-old drink alcohol, so why do you let someone who is under 18 play a war game? Meanwhile in the news, in the middle of the day far worse things are aired. You can see children die.”

When you try Battlefield 3 or other shooters, does that bring up any good or bad memories from your own experiences?
“Not bad memories, just… memories actually. What I have done is seen scenes from the game, and tried to put them into a context. Like the tanks, for instance. They are the homes of soldiers, and become very personal with time. The men have barbecues in the rear, some have set up air conditioners as you live weeks in them. You hook up your mp3 player to it so you get music, and so on. You will see little details like these in the game.”

Any other little things or details you have helped out with?
“The script was more or less done when I came in, but I have worked a lot on what we call motivation – why people jump from one storyline to another. Dialogue was another thing I worked on, how soldiers talk. For instance you never use any negative phrases in the military. Words like “possibly”, “try to” or “will attempt” aren’t used. In the field you don’t say “today we shall try and reach our goal at three”, but “we shall reach it at three”. Things like this are also reflected in facial expressions that DICE have been working on.”

You also have a Battlefield 3 novel coming, what can we expect from it and how was it writing it?
“I hope it gets done in time. (laughs) It’s supposed to come out at the same time as the game and it’s been a challenge. I have always written in first person, but this one is written in third person. I thought it would be easier to write in third person as you can jump between different scenes. I was cocky, and thought it would be much easier.”

Source: Gamereactor


This is an interview with Andy McNab from a Belgian game site, so not in English but I post it anyway – since the site also got more McNab-in-action photos. If you do not read Dutch/Belgian try Google Translator – there’s quite an interesting remark somewhere hidden there. I mean.. really??

Battlefield 3 multiplayer hands-on
Geschreven door SaTo
Special | 02-08-2011 –

Het Zweedse Digital Illusions CE, kortweg DICE, werkt ondertussen al drie jaar lang aan de opvolger van een van ‘s werelds bekendste multiplayergames. ‘Battlefield 3’ is zeer binnenkort een feit, en kan al voor de release rekenen op hordes fans, meutes misnoegde Battlefieldconservatieven, en nu al een clash van epische proporties met het nagenoeg tegelijkertijd gereleasde ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’. De open bèta start binnen een goede maand, maar 9lives trok voor jullie al een keer richting Stockholm om zowel de game als executive producer Patrick Bach en adviseur Andy McNab op de pijnbank te leggen. Nota bene met enkele verrassingen…

Andy McNab, man achter Battlefield 3

Met in het achterhoofd het idee om ‘Battlefield 3’ bijzonder realistisch te maken werd de hulp ingeroepen van Andy McNab (NVDR: dit is uiteraard niet zijn echte naam, hij wenst anoniem te blijven). McNab geeft advies voor zowel de single player, co-op als multiplayer van ‘Battlefield 3’. “Het is natuurlijk onmogelijk via een medium, zij het nu boek, film of spel, de ware aard van een oorlog te tonen.” weet McNab. “Wegens mijn jarenlange ervaring kan ik het team echter zeker van dienst zijn.” Als aanvulling op de game doet McNab dan nu ook waar hij goed in is: schrijven. Momenteel werkt hij aan ‘Battlefield 3: The Russian’, een novelle die het verhaal vertelt van Dima Mayakovsky. Op die manier krijgen we het verhaal van de game langs de kant van de Russen ook te horen, terwijl we in de game aan de zijde van de Amerikanen staan. Maar wat is dan juist zijn inbreng in de game zélf?

AMcN: Ik werkte mee aan verschillende onderdelen van de game. Zo deed ik mijn duit in het zakje bij de scripting van de game, en werkte ik de verhaallijn mee uit zodat deze realistischer werd. Ook op het gebied van tactiek en esthetiek gaf ik advies. Zo zou een vermoeide soldaat die al zittend de wacht hield zijn wapen nooit tussen zijn benen op de grond positioneren, maar altijd schotsklaar op de knie zodat zijn borst fungeert als steunpunt. De manier waarop wapens worden getorst in bepaalde situaties is natuurlijk ook niet altijd vanzelfsprekend om te zetten in een 3D-model zonder ervaring in diezelfde situaties in het echte leven.

9lives: Er kwam dus ongetwijfeld ook motion capturing aan te pas?

AMcN: Klopt, ik dook ook mee met het team in de studio, geregeld zelfs, om zo de juiste houdingen en bewegingen te verzorgen.  Ook de authenticiteit van de outfits was van belang, zo zou je bijvoorbeeld nooit soldaten zien die de vingertoppen van hun handschoenen niet afknippen, per slot van rekening moet je wel je wapen en de verschillende pinnen kunnen bedienen.
9lives: Is het als authentieke oorlogsveteraan dan niet moeilijk mee te werken aan een game als ‘Battlefield 3’? Het is en blijft per slot van rekening nog steeds een spél. Erger je je er niet aan dat alles zo realistisch moet, maar dat een speler dan wel twintig kogels kan overleven en zijn gezondheid automatisch regenereert?

AMcN: Nee hoor, ik ben me er terdege van bewust dat het om een entertainmentproduct gaat. Als je na een enkele kogel al tegen de vlakte zou gaan zou de lol er ook snel af zijn. Ik speel zelf ook genoeg games met mijn kleinkinderen om te beseffen hoe dat allemaal in zijn werk gaat. Spijtig genoeg wordt ik steeds genadeloos afgemaakt in een potje ‘Medal of Honor’. Zelfs in ‘Harry Potter’ lukt me niets…

 9lives: Hoe was het om samen te werken met het team van DICE? Gingen er veel woordenwisselingen aan vooral, of was alles koek en ei?

AMcN: Dat was op zich een zeer interessante samenwerking. De bal werd vaak gekaatst, en nog vaker teruggekaatst. Soms hoorde ik niets terug als ik een suggestie deed, maar was ze wel volledig geïmplementeerd bij mijn volgende bezoek aan de studio, en soms bleek gewoon dat mijn idee overbodig was. Langs de andere kant heb ik ook veel inbreng gehad. De leukste anekdote voor mij was het kamp van de vrijheidsstrijders in Irak dat ze hadden gebouwd. Op zich een leuke poging, maar het leek in niets op wat je ginder echt zou tegenkomen. Ik heb hen dan ook een luchtfoto getoond van zo’n kamp vlakbij Basra, op enkele kilometers van de grens, en ja hoor, bij mijn volgende bezoek was het identiek nagebouwd. (NVDR: Wie vindt dit kamp op Google Maps? Ik heb al gezocht maar het is een moeilijke…)

De toevoeging van McNab aan het team is dus zeker een goede zaak geweest voor DICE en Electronic Arts, maar ze konden uiteindelijk ook niet anders omdat concurrent Activision hetzelfde doet. Als de game even sterk wordt als de handdruk van deze ex-SAS soldaat dan komt het goed.

Source: 9 Lives website


Wednesday, 13 July, 2011

EA released pictures from some Battlefield 3 motion capture sessions. Former SAS operative and novelist, Andy McNab is advising DICE on weapon handling and stance seen in the pictures below.

DICE is working closely with highly decorated ex-SAS operator and acclaimed author, Andy McNab, to ensure the authenticity and grittiness of today’s war is captured in both the single player and multiplayer campaigns.

Source: Planet Battlefield

A book, simply called Battlefield 3, has turned up on online shops.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble both list Battlefield 3 the book for release later this year.

According to the shops it’s by Battlefield executive producer Patrick Bach and Andy McNab, the pseudonym of a former SAS operative and soldier and novelist.

Amazon says the book is 400 pages long and launches alongside the game on 25th October this year.

Battlefield 3 Blog, which spotted the listings, speculates that given McNab is listed as co-author, the book could be the novel of Battlefield 3’s storyline, much of which developer DICE has so far kept under wraps.

Source: Euro Gamer