The MT Interview: General Sir Mike Jackson

The rugged features of Britain's most senior soldier first became familiar through newsreel reports from Kosovo.

by Andrew Saunders and Matthew Gwyther

After Bette Davies and Medusa, he has the most talked-about eyes in town. 'Until recently,' commented the Spectator, 'under each eye, he had bags of record dimensions. They looked like long service decorations - though hardly good conduct ones - from interesting campaigns. When he had them excised, he was much teased: "Mike, you are the last chap anyone ever thought would go in for cosmetic surgery".'

General Sir Mike Jackson, Chief of the General Staff and the UK's most senior soldier, also known as 'The Prince of Darkness' and the Hero of Kosovo, wasn't too amused by this sarcastic banter. He rebutted the suggestion that he'd indulged in some vain facial nipping and tucking, and wrote back to say so. It was, he said, performed by the NHS on the basis of medical requirement: 'The matter therefore turns on vision rather than vanity.'

When you're in the presence, it's not just the eyes that command attention.

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