AUTHOR and street entertainer Michael Mime is today trying to enter war-torn Iraq to try to trace his estranged daughter.

When the Evening Press last heard from with Michael, of Bishophill, York, he was in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

But when we contacted the hotel where he was staying staff said he had left.

Dominic Clissold, the Ankara-based British Consul, said he would be "very concerned" if Michael, real name Michael Todd, tried to enter Iraq.

The mime artist has previously said he wants to find his young daughter, who he believes could be in an Iraqi orphanage.

He also says he is on a mission to take "unconditional love" to Iraq.

Michael contacted the Evening Press by email to say he was in Turkey and was looking for ways to cross the border.

An illegal, smuggled, crossing was one option he was considering.

He said: "The (Turkish) border with Iraq is heavily militarised and impassable. It is possible that I may seek an illegal crossing into Iraq, but they warned me that I may face high risks to my life if I made it to the other side.

"Another option is crossing overland to Syria, a border that is currently open.

"Such is my desire to see my daughter that nothing will stop me."

But Dominic Clissold, Consul in Ankara, said: "If Mr Todd enters Iraq we would be concerned for his safety, we are concerned for the safety of any British nationals trying to get into Iraq. The Foreign Office advice is not to do it."

Updated: 10:39 Saturday, March 29, 2003