The Iranian Embassy Siege

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Running Time 90 minutes
Screen Ratio 16 x 9
Audio Stereo
Picture Colour
Format Standard Definition
Director Robert Garofalo
Narrator Roy Ward
Year of Production 2007


In one of the most revealing and candid musician-to-musician interviews ever recorded, “Face To Face” host Rick Wakeman holds court with his longtime friend, the guitar icon Tony Iommi, who is best known as the founding member of pioneering heavy metal band BLACK SABBATH. Although it was over 30 years ago when Wakeman was asked to contribute his keyboard skills on BLACK SABBATH’s legendary “Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath” album, the pair reminisce with ease, as Rick gathers the evidence on why Tony Iommi is widely recognized as one of the most important and influential guitarists in rock music. He is, after all, considered to be the man who, more or less, single-handedly invented the heavy metal riff.

Some phenomenal rock and roll anecdotage follows; recalling tales of his school years with Ozzy Osbourne, their evolving friendship, his early influences and the formation of SABBATH. Iommi explains some of the more unknown mechanics behind their writing and recording methods, right from their initial explosion into the industry, through to the relentless touring across the world, the drink, the drugs, the highs, the lows, the boozing on aeroplanes and the hedonistic happenings surrounding the departure of Ozzy from SABBATH in 1979.

Tony Iommi sets the record straight on some of the myths surrounding Ozzy’s exit and the subsequent survival and success for SABBATH during the years before they reunited with him in the ’90s. Iommi delivers the hilarious account of when he witnessed the unique meeting of Brian Wilson of the BEACH BOYS and Ozzy backstage at Buckingham Palace (a concert to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002) and brings us up to speed on how it feels to be working with Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice in the acclaimed HEAVEN & HELL band.

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The Iranian Embassy Siege

On the 30th April, 1980, the curtains went up on the opening act of a six-day drama, which was broadcast live on national television across the world. When terrorists holding Iraqi passports, seized the Iranian Embassy in Prince’s Gate, London, taking 26 people including four British citizens, hostage, so began the drama of the IRANIAN EMBASSY SIEGE which resulted in the final act of the legendary SAS storming the building.

Our story is told by those actually involved, the SAS, the hostages, the negotiators and with exclusive covert footage filmed at the time. In fact the footage we obtained to make this programme caused a stir in a certain building overlooking the River Thames in London. I won’t forget my secretary coming into the production office and telling me there was a phone call from a certain high ranking official in the Ministry of Defence; and that I needed to take the call as it involved  ‘a matter of national security’

‘Soldier I’ as he was labelled, to remain anonymous during the enquiry that followed the event, went into the embassy as part of the group that abseiled down the rear of the building. He often jokes that the damage caused to the balcony at the front on the Embassy in Prince’s Gate, wasn’t caused by the explosives. It was caused by the weight of the thousands of ‘Walter Mittys’ that have claimed they were on this operation. Only 40 men have that accolade, 40 of our most elite of the elite, soldiers. The storming of the Iranian Embassy and the moment the world’s media broadcast the iconic images of those black clad mysterious figures, put the SAS into world ‘celebrity’ status.

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