I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when Andy McNab agreed to be a guest on the podcast.
From the day Andy was found in a carrier bag on the steps of Guy’s Hospital in London, he has led a quite extraordinary life. From teenage delinquent, to a young soldier he waged war against the IRA in the streets and fields of South Armagh. As a member of 22 SAS he was at the centre of covert operations for nine years – on five continents. During the Gulf War he commanded Bravo Two Zero, a patrol that, in the words of his commanding officer, ‘will remain in regimental history for ever’. Awarded both the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and Military Medal (MM) during his military career, McNab was the British Army’s most highly decorated serving soldier when he finally left the SAS. Since then Andy McNab has become one of the world’s best-selling writers, drawing on his insider knowledge and experience.
As well as several non-fiction bestsellers including Bravo Two Zero, the biggest selling British work of military history, he is the author of the best-selling Nick Stone and Tom Buckingham thrillers. He has also written a number of books for children. Besides his writing work, he lectures to security and intelligence agencies in both the USA and UK, works in the film industry advising Hollywood on everything from covert procedure to training civilian actors to act like soldiers. He continues to be a spokesperson and fundraiser for both military and literacy charities. In this brilliant and wide-ranging conversation, Andy and I chat through a whole host of topics, not least his Good Psychopath personality.
I think you’ll get a lot from this great conversation so kick back, relax and enjoy. This is Your London Legacy.
“In fact, the Infantry then would take soldier with a written age of six, of a six-year-old.”
Andy fondly remembers being drafted into the Infantry; his journey into the military is an interesting one, as he was born an orphan and grew up with a certain anger towards people seemed to have it all—an effect he thinks may be more prominent with social media showing off luxurious lifestyles, whether faked or not. But his attitude and education took a major turn after meeting a Regiment Sergeant Major who stood in front of their classroom and committed to bringing up everyone’s ability to read, write and learn up to the level of those who were looking down on them.
“Ultimately, no matter what’s going on around you—the only thing you’ve got control of is yourself.”
One of Andy’s many books, “The Good Psychopath’s Path to Success” shows how some traits found in diagnosed psychopaths can actually be beneficial. Many of these traits are what has enabled Andy to survive a gruelling military career, including being undercover for two years in Northern Ireland—as well as captured and tortured in Iraq. But they are some of the same parts of his personality that has led him to writing over twenty books of fiction and nonfiction. The book looks at learned behaviours that allow people on the psychopath spectrum to be more social and driven through learned behaviours and logic.