TV star Ollie Ollerton has revealed how being attacked by a chimp when he was a child helped set him on a path to join the SAS.
The former star of Channel 4 show SAS: Who Dares Wins, Ollerton has since headed to Australia with co-star Ant Middleton to put recruits through their paces Down Under.
Reminiscing on his near-death experience, he said: “As a child, I was attacked by a chimpanzee and I nearly lost my life.
"For me, it was the moment I took a step into short-term discomfort for long-term gain and the long-term gain that day was surviving.
“I had to anger that chimp for any chance of surviving that day, but everything in life if you want to grow in any facet of life, it's about taking the short-term discomfort for the long-term gain.”
Ollie, also a best-selling author, is now one of the country’s most popular and sought-after inspirational speakers.
His story of completing a gruelling six-month selection process for the SAS, then joining the Special Boat Service, is full of remarkable twists and turns that leaves audiences compelled.
Ollie Ollerton left the C4 show in 2020
Describing his military life as “every boy’s dream” he said it wasn’t until he went to Thailand as part of a self-funded mission to rescue children from slavery and prostitution that he says he found purpose.
Speaking to the Motivational Speakers Agency during an interview shared with GB News, Ollie said: “I found purpose when I was very fortunate to be part of a team that went into Southeast Asia with a powerful organisation called the Grey Man.
“For me, I had no idea of what that would give me in return. The power of helping other people is so fulfilling.
“In this day and age, everyone's fighting for the most Instagram followers, everyone's fighting to be the best at work. Even within a tight team everyone is, to some degree, fighting with each other.
“It’s not until you understand the power of helping other people that you realise how much that gives you in return.
“Throughout my whole career in the Special Forces, I was searching for something that wasn't there.
“We got all the toys in the world, it was the best train set in the world but really, it didn’t fit my purpose.
“We’re put onto this planet to be creative beings and that’s taken away from us at a very early age. Before we know it, we’re being boxed into something that fits society and I don’t believe that creates purpose for everyone.
“For me certainly, the Special Forces did not tick every box and I was always searching. I didn’t find it there.
“It wasn’t until I went to Thailand to rescue those kids that I stumbled over something that was so powerful, and it changed my life forever.”
“That is the reason I've now got a company called Break Point: everything we do is about helping other people. Limitations can be broken – we are without limits.”
Break-Point, an academy where business leaders can learn from Ollerton and other former special forces soldiers, is described as ‘the moment you decide nothing will stand between you and your goals. It’s the relentless refusal to accept your limits".
“It takes someone with a great deal of mental robustness; it takes someone with a vision of where they want to be, not where they are, to be a special forces soldier,” Ollerton said.
And he believes there are transferable skills from the elite military regiment which can be used in the business world.
He explained: “You can’t teach an organisation to be totally militarised but there are a few things we can take from the special forces world that we can integrate into the business world.
“You can smooth your teamwork and put better processes in place that make sure they follow a process to success.
“All the world is our feet but we have to make sure that shoelaces are tied up.”