A Bickley author has started work on his "most challenging book" to date - the real-life story of Andrew Wardle, a man who was born without a penis. PATRICK GRAFTON-GREEN finds out more.
ANDREW Wardle is considered "unique", faced every day with a situation most men would deem their worst nightmare.
The 40-year-old has dated many women but says his relationships end, inevitably, prematurely.
He has dealt with the problem by turning to drugs and, at his lowest ebb, tried to kill himself with an overdose of pills.
However his story is not yet over. This year surgeons at University College London will attempt to build him an entirely new penis, by transferring skin from his forearm.
Mr Wardle told News Shopper much of his life has been about living a lie.
He said: "I've been out with dozens of women over the years but it has been extremely challenging because I went into every relationship on a lie - pretending I was a normal guy.
"It's not like I could not introduce myself to young women: 'Hi, my name's Andy. By the way, I haven't got a penis.'
"But I was always aware that, at some stage, my relationships were going to end. It was just a case of when.
"I always put off mentioning it, knowing that sooner or later the woman would.
"Most relationships ended when the young women involved realised I was incapable of sex."
Mr Wardle talked of one woman, who he took to Paris, who punched him in the face when she found out he didn't have a penis.
And over the years he became more and more worn down.
He said: "I had a terrible time as a child. I was always hiding myself away from other guys because of embarrassment and fear that they would take the mickey.
"But as I've got older, it hasn't become any easier.
"I coped by learning to become an accomplished liar, and I used drugs to escape into an unreal world.
"When I was approaching 40, I tried to kill myself.
"I don't know anyone else who has ever suffered from this condition. I'm told I'm unique."
But things are looking up for Mr Wardle, who been with his current girlfriend, a Hungarian beauty named Fedra, for two years.
And this summer surgeons will use a large flap of skin from his arm, with its blood vessels and nerves, and fold it into a tube before grafting to his pubic area.
After healing, Mr Wardle, from Manchester, will be fitted with a pump-operated implant to make passing urine - and sex - possible.
He added: "I don't know what the future holds, I am hoping for the best but I am in a loving relationship with Fedra, we think the world of each other and we are both feeling very positive about the future."
Robin McGibbon, 68, of Burford Road, who has written books on the Kray twins and Barbara Windsor, is in the process of documenting Andrew Wardle's life.
He said: "This is by far the most challenging book I have ever written.
"It is heart-rending, at times tragically funny, a truly incredible story that would be unbelievable had it not happened.
"Andrew's story has a beginning, an astonishing middle and it looks like having the most happy ending."
Mr McGibbon says he hopes the book will be released at the end of year, while Mr Wardle's story is also being filmed by Chameleon Television for international distribution around the same time.