Billy Billingham Nearly Dies at 15, Heads to Vietnam Jungle

Billy Billingham Nearly Dies at 15, Heads to Vietnam Jungle

Sixty Seconds: Billy Billingham Credit Channel 4 /

Billy Billingham caused havoc when he was younger, he says (Photo: Channel 4/

Billy Billingham, 57, SAS instructor and author, tells how he got his crotch rotting in the jungle, kept his A-list, and escaped a life of crime.

You are in the jungle of Vietnam for this series SAS: Who Dares Wins. Where is the toughest place?

There can be no doubt. The temperature is like walking into a steam room fully clothed. Then place the 60-plus-pound Bergen backpack on your back. It’s hard to navigate where you are because everything looks the same.

Plants want to sting you and spread rashes, insects want to eat, bite and stick to you. On top of that, you’ll have to perform some of the scariest tasks, all based on people’s fears. If you can survive in the jungle, you can survive anywhere.

(From left) Rudy Reyes, Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham, Jason ‘Foxy’ Fox and Chris Oliver (Photo: PA)

Have you ever had a rotten crotch?

yes. I get in between my legs by marching all day and literally put a handful of diaper cream in there to keep it clean and germ-free. With Bergen on his back and a rifle in his hand, he can’t even scratch. It’s a pain. I’m always sweating, so I’m always wet.

You have two sets of clothes – one wet and one dry, so as soon as you get into bed you strip naked, check each other for ticks and leeches, dry yourself, Enter the dry kit and go to bed. Too much laziness turns into an infection.

How does it feel to be your new Chief Instructor?

It’s a natural progression for me. Anyway, I did my best. I have been an instructor and chief instructor in the Parachute Regiment and SAS. It just relied on all the skills I already had. And a great team with Foxy, Rudy and Chris Oliver. that’s a great job.

Are you all serious about making it through?

we do. It’s like being back in the army again. They just have to run the program on the jokes we have behind the scenes.

Contestants in this year’s new SAS series: Who will win (Photo: PA)

Are you in touch with former host Ant Middleton?

Yeah I hear from him from time to time, he’s fine. We sent him a birthday message while we were in the jungle.

You graduated from school at 13, right?

I was kicked out of school when I was 13. I grew up in a poor family, but there is no excuse for being naughty like me. I got into the gang thinking that was the way to be a tough guy. I was fighting the law and getting into trouble. And I thought I was really smart, so I put my math teacher on a chair and got kicked out of school. I enjoyed being a cadet because I was learning how to navigate and first aid and being able to see how it came in handy. And joining the military allowed me to turn around.

Have you ever wondered where you would be without power?

I hate to think where I am I’m not sitting here to talk to you. When I was 15, I was stabbed to death. And it really opened my eyes to stop this nonsense. I wasn’t in the wrong crowd, I was in the wrong crowd. My family was in hell. My mother was always working to put the bread on the table while I was wreaking havoc.

you have 6 children. what kind of father are you

wonderful. I’m always active and just doing the right thing based on everything I’ve done wrong in my life.

Do you split your time between Hereford and Florida?

Yes, my wife is American and does charity and business there. We launched a new military inspired travel line called Deux Mains. From travel bags to credit card holders, we have it all. Made by fine Haitian artisans and women. The idea is to empower people.

Billy and his wife’s charity seeks to empower Haitian people (Photo: Getty)

You wrote your second novel…

Survive To Fight is my second Matt Mason novel. Matt begins his SAS-type role in the military, then retires and goes into conservation work. I love it, it’s very therapeutic. It’s not some crazy James Bond kind of thing, it’s the reality of that world.

Billy Billingham’s book Survive To Fight (Photo: Amazon)

You’ve been a bodyguard for A-list celebrities.

Yes, I got to appear in every magazine from under a parapet and have people take pictures of you all the time. You only have one chance to stop it, so you have to assume the worst. Everyone is under some kind of threat. Someone may not like Brad Pitt, or be too enthusiastic about it. am.

did you befriend any of them?

Yes, that’s all. They sometimes clash. I was recently in New York to meet Sean Penn, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. There is always a simple phone call or message asking how are you doing this Christmas season.

SAS: Who Dares Wins – Jungle Hell, Monday 9pm Channel 4

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