Express siege team are brought to book

ONE day after the dramatic ending of the Iranian Embassy siege in London the Daily Express reporting were still hard at work.

They were back in the paper’s Fleet Street offices writing a 70,000-word book published three days later as The Day of the SAS.

Pictured from left, are: Peter Mason, Ian Black, Peter Hardy and Bob McGowan. And in recognition of their heroics the team were presented with the Reporter of the Year award for their dramatic despatches.

Their Express colleague John Downing was also honoured with the Photographer of the Year award.

The siege took place from 30 April to 5 May after six armed men stormed the Iranian embassy in Prince's Gate, South Kensington. 

The gunmen, campaigning for Arab national sovereignty in the southern Iranian region of Khuzestan Province, took 26 people hostage — mostly embassy staff, but also several visitors, as well as a police officer who had been guarding the embassy. 

The siege was ended by the SAS after the terrorists killed a hostage. The building was stormed — live on television — and all but one of the remaining hostages, were freed. Five of the six hostage-takers were killed.

Bob McGowan’s widow Pauline told the Drone: The Newsdesk at one stage were inferring that none of the chaps were actually turning up for work, but were in fact imbibing in a local hostelry. This was untrue, one of them, at least, was always on patrol, with another with head down on the pillow getting some shut-eye. 

So, in order to scupper the Newsdesk's allegations they asked (probably bribed with booze) the ITV camera crew (I think, not the Beeb, probably too stuck up) if they could do a walk-on in the background, which they did. I believe they gave a little cursory wave. Sweet!

Back in the ruins of the embassy are Ian Black, Peter Hardy, Bob McGowan and Peter Hardy. This picture was taken by John Downing

The following year the Express team received their Reporter of the Year awards at a British Press Awards ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in London. Pictured with Daily Express editor Arthur Firth, centre, are, from left, Ian Black, Peter Hardy, Bob McGowan, Peter Mason and John Downing, who was named Photographer of the Year

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