Former SAS sniper hosting an audience in Exeter this November

Claire Small's picture
Authored by Claire Small
Posted Tuesday, August 6, 2019 - 8:50am

Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham is one of the most decorated SAS snipers of all time. After retiring from the elite branch of the British armed services, he went on to work as a bodyguard for some of the world’s best-known A-listers. Needless to say, the veteran has a lot of stories to tell, and those who want to hear them can attend An Audience with Mark Billy Billingham at the Exeter Corn Exchange on the 4th of November this year.

The Special Air Service is a Special Forces unit of the British Army which takes on a number of highly classified missions involving covert reconnaissance, counter-terrorism and hostage rescue. Billingham was a high-ranking member of the corps which was founded in 1941. To qualify for a job in the secretive unit, soldiers must go through five weeks of gruelling training, which culminates in an intense 36-hour interrogation session.

Billingham originally joined the Parachute Regiment in 1983 and was later recruited to the SAS, in 1991. He took the position of Mountain Troop specialist and was tasked with organising and executing strategic operations including daring hostage rescue missions. During his time in the forces, Billy became qualified in a number of roles. Among other things, he is a certified SF and Counter Terrorist Sniper Instructor and Advanced Evasive Driving Instructor. He was awarded an MBE by the Queen for leading a hostage rescue mission, and he has also received the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.

After leaving the Special Forces, Billingham became a bodyguard and worked alongside some of the world’s most beloved celebrities. One of the most notable A-listers to have had support from Billy was Russel Crowe. The New Zealand-born actor is best known for his role in the 2000 epic Gladiator, which is still one of the most popular films around to this day. Indeed, it has influenced several other films, like 300, as well as games such as the Spartacus Slot which features Roman gladiator themes. Billy has also looked after Angelina Jolie, who starred in the blockbuster Lara Croft movies. These offerings have also had a long running-influence on popular culture and led to a recent Tomb Raider remake along with mobile games like Lara Croft Go.

After his work alongside these Hollywood greats, Billingham decided to go on tour as a speaker at various events. He has decades of experience of deadly and dangerous situations, and people enjoy hearing his engaging stories. In addition to corporate speaking, Billy is currently on his UK tour which has already been to various spots in Yorkshire and Wales. According to the Times, the show is “full of unexpected insights.”

An Audience with Mark Billy Billingham has received various rave reviews, and it certainly sounds like it is not to be missed. Exeter residents should try to get hold of tickets now for the November performance because it looks like this is one event which could sell out.