AN East Lancashire military hero is the unexpected star of an ITV show about his elite regiment.

Burnley’s Sergeant Ryan North is the man at the centre of training raw recruits in the hit fly-on-the wall documentary ‘The Paras: Men Of War’.

The 32-year-old, who lives in Lowerhouse, is married to Kate and has two young sons. He is seen taking 48 young men through the arduous training necessary to get the famous maroon beret of the Parachute Regiment - one of the most feared in the Army.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Sgt North joined up at 16 with the aim of being in the regiment and served in Iraq, where he was injured and lost close friend Tom to a roadside bomb.

In Afghanistan he was ‘Mentioned in Despatches’ for his bravery in rescuing six injured colleagues from a firefight with the Taliban.

Son of Wendy and Graham and with three brothers - including Radio 1 DJ Jordan North - he grew up in Burnley with an ambition to follow in the footsteps of his father, a Queen’s Lancashire Regiment soldier.

READ MORE: Clarets fan Jordan North gets his own Radio 1 show

Sgt North said: “It’s strange to say but combat is the best thing. It’s where all your training fits together.

“In Iraq, after the improvised explosive device went off, I didn’t have time to think until later about Tom being killed. But I will carry the sadness with me for the rest of my life.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Now stationed at Colchester, Sgt North said: “Training recruits is a big responsibility but it’s also rewarding.

“It’s about making sure that the next generation of Paras are fit for the job, the regiment and the Army and that they safe and their comrades are safe in combat. Only ten of the original 48 made it through the training and into the regiment.”

On being filmed, Sgt North said: “It was strange having a camera in your face at first but we got used to it and just got on with training the recruits the way we should and always do.”

A former Turf Moor season-ticket holder, Sgt North relaxes by watching Burnley FC when he can, rating Tom Heaton the best of the current team, because ‘he is a leader’.

He added: “I love being a Para. It’s the best job. Unless this gig gets me in Coronation Street.”

'The Paras: Men Of War' is back on screens on Thursday at 9pm. Watch the first episode on ITV Hub by clicking here.