Ollie Ollerton had “a lot of empathy” for two Celeb SAS 2020 contestants

The instructor, who trains Celeb SAS's famous recruits, told RadioTimes.com about his standout moments from the 2020 series.

Matthew Ollie Ollerton

Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins instructor Matthew ‘Ollie’ Ollerton has revealed that he felt “a lot of empathy” for Joey Essex and Rudimental’s Locksmith during the series after both contestants emotionally opened up to the instructors on the show.

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Speaking to RadioTimes.com about standout interviews during the last series, which ended in May, Ollerton said:  “There’s two people that I really had a lot of empathy for – I mean I had a lot of empathy for all of them, but especially Joey Essex.”

“Joey opened up about his mum committing suicide when he was ten years old, and I remember when I was 10 very well because I was attacked by a chimpanzee at the circus, so I can relate to his age and how traumatic that must have been at 10 years old,” he said.

“That childhood trauma can be quite damaging so I really did empathise with Joey on that,” he added. “It was amazing to see Joey open up because there were so many messages after that saying that people didn’t expect that from Joey Essex.”

Ollerton, 48, also felt for Locksmith, who won the series alongside Paralympian Lauren Steadman, “when he opened up about his father and his insecurities about being a father himself”.

The former SAS Special Forces soldier added that another standout interview on the show was boxer Tony Belue. “I know I’m focussing a lot on the blokes here, but Tony Belue – he opened up quite massively on that show,” he said. “He was open. The transformation for someone like Tony Belue was phenomenal.”

When asked why celebrities reveal such personal stories on the show, Ollerton says he thinks that the process forces famous recruits to reflect on their true selves.

“The fact of the matter is, control is totally taken away from them. Their ego is gone because there’s no place for it and before you know it, they’re actually dealing with their raw characters for a first time in a long time,” he said.

“When these people come on the show, that’s the first time that they’ve actually really been able to look at themselves as their true character for a long, long time,” he added.  “And that’s why they become so emotional. They forget about the cameras and the ones that stay are there because they’re there for themselves.”

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Matthew ‘Ollie’ Ollerton’s self-help book Battle Ready is now available to buy. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide.