Mail on Sunday story

Mail on Sunday (December 20, 1998)

The £4 million Gulf War drama Bravo Two Zero, highlight of the BBC's New Year schedule, may be postponed because of the Allied air attacks on Iraq.

The stunning production, starring Sean Bean as former SAS commander Andy McNab, is due to be broadcast over two nights from January 3.

But a senior drama department spokesman said last night: "One sentiment here is that the film is supremely topical - another is that the timing is insensitive. It will certainly be broadcast but it may have to be put back."

The chilling drama, which will go out on BBC1 after the 9pm watershed, tells the story of the eight-man SAS patrol - codename Bravo Two Zero - which went 190 miles into enemy territory on an ill-fated mission to blow up missile sites. McNab, a 35-year-old sergrant, commanded the mission in which helicopters dropped the soldiers into so-called Scud Alley.

They killed about 250 Iraqi soldiers. But three SAS men died, too, as they tried battling their way to freedom in Syria, 140 miles across the desert. McNab was caught and tortured by Iraq's secret police.

He was released at the end of the Gulf War and told his story in a book which became a worldwide best-seller.



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