Who we are
Andy Torbet - Underwater Explorer, Deep Sea and Cave Diver, TV Presenter, Author & Film Maker
After serving 10 years in the Armed Forces, including tours with 49 Sqn (EOD), part of 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD) supporting Airborne, Commando, SF and underwater operations, Andy retired to a life of adventure. Since then he has become a professional cave-diver and deep-diver working on a number of ground-breaking exploration projects, including mapping underwater cave systems, re-discovering flooded mines and finding lost shipwrecks. With a degree in Zoology, a Masters in Archaeology and membership of Mensa he tries to ensure his expeditions bring back more than just photo for Instagram. His multi-faceted professional life also includes work as a free-diver, professional mountain guide. kayaker and skydiver, competing for Team GB in Speed Skydiving.
As a TV presenter he has, to date, hosted 22 TV series for the BBC, CBBC, Discovery, History and Ch5, including Coast, the multi-award winning Operation Iceberg, his own serious Beyond Bionic and is a regular one The One Show. He has also written over 250 articles and one book and spent most of 2019 as part of the Stunt Team on the new Bond film.
He lives in the Wye Valley with his Jazz singer/song-writer wife, Becki Biggins, and their two young, feral, boys.
Col Mark Lancaster, RE Reservist
Brigadier John Mark Lancaster, TD, VR is a British Conservative Party politician, who served as Member of Parliament for Milton Keynes North from the seat’s creation at the 2010 general election until his retirement in 2019, having been Member of Parliament for the North East Milton Keynes constituency between 2005 and 2010. He served as a Minister in several appointments after the formation of the Coalition Government in 2010, first as Lord Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Treasury, before in May 2015 moving to the Ministry of Defence as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Veterans, Reserves and Personnel, then in June 2017, he was appointed Minister of State for the Armed Forces in the Second May ministry and was reappointed by Boris Johnson at the start of his Premiership in July 2019, he served in this role until his retirement from Government in Dec 2019.
Between 1988 and 1990 Lancaster served in the British Army on an extended gap year Commission in Hong Kong with the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers before going to university. He then transferred his Commission to the Army Reserve where he continues to serve as a Brigadier in the General Staff Corps ( Late Royal Engineers ), having previously commanded an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit. He has been on active service three times in Kosovo (1999–2000), Bosnia (2001–2002) and Afghanistan (2006). He is currently Deputy Commander of 77th Brigade.
He received a number of military honours and decorations between 2000 and 2016, including the Territorial Decoration (TD) in 2002 and the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal (VRSM) in 2011. He was awarded the Bar for a further five years’ service in 2016.
He was appointed as the Deputy Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas on 1 September 2019.
He was appointed Chair of the Reserve Forces 2030 review in January 2020 in the rank of Brigadier.