A former SAS man who who became the bodyguard for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie is coming to Epsom on Sunday (November 24).

Mark 'Billy' Billingham was one of the expert consultants on Channel 4's 'SAS Who Dares Wins' programme.

He served in the Armed Forces in various capacities including the SAS from 1983 onwards, and was highly decorated — including receiving the Queen's Commendation for Bravery and an MBE.

Right now he is currently on a speaking tour around the UK and will appear at the Epsom Playhouse this Sunday.

The Comet caught up with the ex-soldier on Friday ahead of his arrival in Epsom.

"The tour's been going well. It's not what I'm used to and took some getting used to but the comments I get from people have been reassuring.

"To have people of older generations in particular tell me that my talk was one of the most inspiring things they've ever listed to — why? It's quite humbling," he said.

Billy is a highly respected former SAS man who, according to his website, was involved in "executing strategic operations and training at the highest level in numerous locations (Iraq, Afghanistan, South America and Africa) and has lead countless hostage rescues".

As such, he was an ideal choice for Channel 4's popular 'SAS: Who Dares Win' show.

He said one of the most surprising thing about filming the show was how some contestants challenged viewers perceptions about who was best suited for the UK's elite special forces.

"Someone who's self motivated, has honesty and integrity and will go that little bit further. That's what we're looking for," Billy said.

"If I took you to a pub with an SAS guy in and asked you to point them out I guarantee you would get it wrong.

"But the chances that little guy with a bald head and pot belly or whatever will out-run your ass, out-lift your ass and so on. We're not image people, we're people who get it done," he said.

Billy spoke candidly about his difficult childhood as "a bit of a rogue" who struggled academically but found his path after joining the Army.

"From a young age I was a real problem and left school at 13.

"Then I joined the cadets and I learnt how to do first aid, CPR, saving someone's life.

"I really enjoyed that and realised that I liked discipline in that sense. The military was my saving grace," he recalled.

His time serving in the special forces was punctured with immense trials and stunning experiences, the hardest of which, Billy said, was the death of his comrades.

"The hardest experience is always when you lose someone. We all know that it's part of the job when we sign up. It is really sad.

"You question whether it was worth it and deep in my heart I believe they did it for the right reasons and would not regret it, as I wouldn't," he said.

His role in the military took him to some of the most diverse and challenging environments in the world, with the jungle in Belize being his favourite terrain after he was sent there with the Army aged 17.

The Middle Eastern countries of Oman and Jordan also stood out.

"Oman is such a beautiful country. And the people of Oman and Jordan are so amazing.

"Jordan is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East and surrounded by war on every side, yet they're taking in refugees and welcoming people. Such a lovely people," he said.

Adapting to civilian life after serving in the Army can be difficult for many ex-soldiers.

Billy said staying active, training and keeping busy were some of the keys to his own development after leaving the military.

That stood him in good stead in his next role as a bodyguard.

"One of my first jobs was a bodyguard for Hulk Hogan, and he's massive! He must have thought I was either crazy or a ninja," the former SAS man joked.

"Everyone I worked with became friends but it's a fine balance. I was so close to Brad and Angie that it became difficult at times because I just became so well known and it made it difficult to work.

"As clients and friends they were amazing people. I had great relationships with all my clients and still do," Billy said.

He is appearing at the Epsom Playhouse on Sunday from 7.30pm.