“I nearly lost my life”: TV star on being attacked by a chimp as a child

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.

Ollie, who nearly lost his life after the attack, said: “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.”

He said: “I had to anger that chimp for any chance of surviving that day, but like 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 Ollerton was attacked by a chimpanzee as a child. (Photo by Margaux Ansel via Unsplash)

Ollie, who starred in Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, is now one of the country’s most popular after-dinner inspirational speakers.

His story of completing a gruelling six-month selection process for the SAS, then joining the Special Boat Service, compelled viewers.

Ollie described his military life as “every boy’s dream” but says 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.

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.”

“It’s not until you understand the power of helping other people that you realise how much that gives you in return,” he added.

He said: “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.”

Ollie now owns a company called Break-Point, an academy where business leaders can learn from himself and other former special forces soldiers.

Ollie believes that there are transferable skills from military roles which can be used in the business world.

He said: “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”.

Ollie added: “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 at our feet but we have to make sure that the shoelaces are tied up.”