John Nichol

RAF Navigator captured by the Iraqis during the Gulf War. Author, Broadcaster and Motivational Business Speaker


You were absolutely superb – and even then I think that’s playing it down a little. Your presentation was excellent and surpassed my expectations. I’d like you to know that I am exceptionally grateful for all the help, guidance and advice that you provided prior to the event and the professionalism with which you approached and executed at every stage.
Martin Currie Investment Management
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John Nicol describes himself as “an ordinary guy who just happened to find himself in extraordinary circumstances”. As a Royal Air Force Tornado Navigator, John was shot down during the first Gulf war in Iraq in 1991. Captured and tortured, he was paraded on TV provoking worldwide condemnation and providing one of the most enduring images of the conflict.
John’s inspiring and electrifying story takes his audience on an incredible journey from the highly organised training and teamwork of an RAF squadron, to the unbelievable challenges of being shot down and held as a prisoner-of-war.
His experiences qualify him to speak with unquestionable authority on not only surviving challenges, but also turning them to your advantage.

The first the world saw of RAF navigator Flight Lieutenant John Nichol was as a tortured British prisoner-of-war, beaten and humiliated by his captors.
The ensuing pictures were flashed around the world and became an enduring symbol of the first Gulf war.

The traumatic weeks of capture gave John a unique insight into the human capacity to deal with extreme adversity and change. Partly as a result of his own outgoing personality, partly as a result of the experience itself, John is now able to present a fascinating insight into what happens when our innermost reserves are tested by external demands.

John’s account of what happened takes the audience from the highly organised training, planning and teamwork of an RAF fast-jet squadron to the isolation of being shot down and held in solitary confinement. His experiences qualify him to speak with unquestionable authority on not only surviving change and adversity, but also turning it to your advantage.

Some recent speaking topics have included:

Surviving challenges
Resilience and Adversity
Believe in yourself
Trust in those around you
Dealing with change
The importance of planning and preparation


John’s message is one of optimism, inspiration and personal motivation. His personal triumph lies in having discovered his potential to cope with extremes and achieve goals way beyond his perceived horizons. And John leaves his audience in no doubt – that potential exists in all of us.