A couple of years ago, I penned a blog about the idea of my writing my autobiography.
Recently, on more than one occasion in fact, this subject has been broached again but just as I did back then, I dismissed the idea not simply because I can’t actually imagine why on earth anyone would be interested enough to read it, but also because I have led a life which has been, shall we say, eventful. Indeed, back then I made the point that were I to commit it all to print, large portions of it would be disregarded as some kind of Walter Mitty fantasy.
However, as the completion of my 16th book approaches, and having recently passed the ’20 years in the job’ mark, I thought it might be worth listing some of the events that might make it in should I ever decide to take the plunge. I also threw in a few things which not many people actually know about me and purely for a bit of self-indulgence, thought I would share them.
So, in no particular order, I…
used to smoke 60 Marlboro a day but gave up cold turkey. I would start again tomorrow if I was allowed.
once fell asleep whilst riding a motorbike and only woke up when I left the road and went through a hedge. I didn’t come off and yes, I was drunk, very drunk in fact. I’ve never again ridden or driven with alcohol inside me as I am terrified of losing my licence.
have eaten all kinds of odd things on my travels but the weirdest are Elk liver pate and sliced Reindeer tongue in Russia. Both were quite nice.
have only ever broken four bones and they were all as a result of sport. Nose (boxing), two ribs (stock car racing) and back (football).
once dropped a car on my hands and the only way I could get myself free was to simply wrench them out. Sadly, not many of my nails made it and yes, it really was as painful as you imagine.
rarely drink these days because I am useless at it (and as previously stated, am terrified of losing my driving licence).
love giving random people compliments.
receive at least one email or tweet a day asking me something relating to Green Street. And no, I had nothing to do with 2 or 3 but would write 4 if they offered me enough money.
have taken part in all kinds of different motorsport with some success, but my proudest achievement was 8th place in the 1988 world banger racing finals.
was, on two separate occasions, in the exact spot where just 24 hours later the IRA carried out assassinations of British servicemen.
have only ever been arrested three times; Once for theft of my own property from my own motor vehicle (!) and twice on the TV show, ‘The Bill’.
would love to write a proper full-on romance from a male’s perspective.
have ridden a motorbike at 150 plus and driven a car at over 140. Both were my own.
have only ever taken my daughters to one football match and specifically chose it to dissuade them from ever wanting to go again. It worked. Thanks Norwich.
love a good conspiracy theory.
regard Billy’s Log as my best book to date but had most fun writing The Art of Fart. However, the best thing I’ve ever written (and of which I’m most proud) is a script about a British soldier. Sadly, although it got very close to production at one point, it never made it. One day though.
am a firm believer in all things spiritual and have had all kinds of ghostly encounters over the years.
have always wanted to own a Range Rover. I don’t. Yet.
rarely refer to myself as a writer as I still don’t think I’ve earned the right to that title.
have only ever been invited to three literary events during my career. Two of those were to do with moaning about something, the third came about purely because I asked why I hadn’t been invited! I have never even been invited to a single screenwriting event.
was just over a week away from leaving for a four month tour of the Falkland Islands when a psychic told my wife that I wouldn’t be going. I didn’t, I developed a stomach ulcer instead.
once ended up in court as a defence witness in a case against someone who was accused of assaulting me (think about that for a moment).
have seen not one, but three aircraft crash.
was scheduled to be on the ‘Herald of Free Enterprise’ when it sank outside Zeebrugge but cancelled the trip at the last minute as my wife was asked to go on a girlie night out.
once had a German policeman point a gun at my head and switch the safety catch to ‘off’.
have been involved in a (very) high speed car chase with the police. I was being chased, not chasing.
once had a bounty placed on my head (not the chocolate kind either!) and was targeted by an extremely nasty political organisation.
used to co-host a late-night radio show for Liberty Radio in London which was, at that time, owned by Mohammed Al Fayed. We were actually on air at the time of Princess Diana’s death.
once swore at Lady Sarah Ferguson (by accident, not because I don’t like her).
was once involved in a fight during a live TV show.
have only been a best man once and that was at a same sex wedding (and it was brilliant!).
am all but blind in one eye which is why I can’t watch 3D movies.
have a desire to run for public office and almost ran in the first ever ‘Mayor of London’ election. I still have plans to form my own political party.
once set up a charity for British troops serving on the front-line and managed to provide them with almost 22,000 free books.
once got up and walked off a live prime time UK TV news programme because they described me as a ‘football hooligan’ when I had repeatedly asked them not to and warned them I would walk if they did.
never play computer games (boring) and never watch horror movies (coward).
sell more books in Russia than anywhere else bar the UK.
have had two mates die in front of me. Both were on motorcycles.
am terrified of heights.
once stole a parrot. I did take it back.
secretly inserted 14 things into the initial script of Green Street which were either ‘in-jokes’ or referred to something very personal. They all made it onto the screen but only half of them have ever been worked out.
once spent an afternoon all alone in a little cove on Ascension Island swimming naked amongst a swarm of little black fish only to discover later on that they were actually sea water Piranha’s. Barely a week later, that same shoal (or their mates) stripped the face off someone who fell off a ship into the sea.
once sold condoms for a living.
adore America but my favourite city in the world is St. Petersburg in Russia.
once appeared fully naked in front of a platform packed with Russians on their way to work.
was one of the first, if not THE first, person in the west to know about the Chernobyl disaster.
was once held hostage by a cow (bovine, not female).
was once involved in an actual UFO related incident (and no, I wasn’t abducted or probed!).
turned down the opportunity to invest in the setting up of a very famous website which was subsequently sold for many millions!
was once trapped in my car for 24 hours by the snow.
am a Falklands Veteran and was the first RAF member of the South Atlantic Task Force to have his post disestablished after the War.
have been a guest at Buckingham Palace on three occasions.
once punched a donkey on the nose. It hurt. Me, not it.
have flown in a Harrier jump jet (not by myself obviously!).
have never knowingly taken, sniffed or smoked any kind of illegal substance!
appeared in the James Bond movie, Goldeneye and once had a screen test as a potential presenter for ‘Top Gear’ (I didn’t get the gig).
As anyone who actually knows me will testify, I am actually quite boring, quite shy and am utterly useless at small talk.
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