Blood and Sand

Blood and Sand

The BBC security correspondent’s own extraordinary and inspiring story


On the June 6, 2004, while on assignment in Riyadh, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner and cameraman Simon Cumbers were ambushed by Islamist gunmen. Simon was killed outright. Frank was hit in the shoulder and leg. As he lay in the dust, a figure stood over him and pumped four more bullets into his body at point-blank range...

Against all the odds, Frank Gardner survived.

Today, although partly paralysed, Frank continues to travel the world, reporting and making documentaries for the BBC. This acclaimed memoir was brought up to date with a new chapter that recounted his return to Saudi Arabia for the first time since he was shot and the story he tells continues to move and inspire, and remains an affirmation of his deep understanding of - and affection for - the Islamic world in these uncertain times.

'Gardner tells his remarkable tale well and bravely, with an astonishing lack of anger and enduring love and respect for the Islamic world' SUNDAY TIMES

'Brave, unsentimental and genuinely inspiring' EVENING STANDARD
'What makes Gardner's moving, often humorous, deeply personal story so important is the fact that he has woven into it a brilliantly dispassionate, clear-eyed account of the Islamic world' SCOTSMAN
'A witty, self-deprecating, inspiring testament' DAILY TELEGRAPH


  • Gardner is a superb reporter; his terrible experience only make his analysis all the more telling

About the author

Frank Gardner

Born in 1961, Frank Gardner has been the BBC's Security Correspondent since 2002. He holds a degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies. In 2004, while filming in Saudi Arabia, he was ambushed by terrorists, shot multiple times and left for dead. He survived and returned to active news reporting within a year. He still travels extensively. Awarded an OBE in 2005 for services to journalism, Frank published his bestselling memoir, Blood and Sand, in 2006. His first novel, the thriller Crisis, which introduced readers to SIS operative Luke Carlton, was a No.1 bestseller. The second Luke Carlton thriller, Ultimatum, was also a Sunday Times top 10 bestseller, as was the third, Outbreak. Frank Gardner lives in London.
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