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Interview: Ant Middleton on positivity and adventure

The Special Forces veteran and presenter is gearing up to tour the UK.

Known for his work on Channel 4 series SAS: Who Dares Wins, veteran and adventurer Ant Middleton is currently preparing to take his An Evening With show back on the road.

Middleton, who also navigated the open sea in a confined longboat for the captivating Mutiny documentary, has further developed his long-held thirst for adventure. His most recent quest, soon to be aired, sees him scale Everest.

His journey hasn’t been easy though. As has been widely reported, Middleton struggled with a lack of discipline. It was a run in with the law that ultimately pushed him towards reform. Now he brings his tale of success, failure and positivity to venues across the UK.

Ahead of the fourteen date tour, kicking off in Cardiff on 31 August 2018, we caught up with Ant to discover more about finding adventure in everyday life.

Watch Ant in action below (strong language warning)

How are you feeling about the tour at this stage?

I love doing the tours. When I did my first tour I was a bit apprehensive. But to be up there delivering a powerful message and for people to take it in and use it, and to come back to me with such positive input, was amazing.

I can’t wait for the next one. I now know what to deliver, and how to deliver it. I love getting up and delivering a message; it’s great.

What can fans expect from the shows?

People think I’m going to talk about the military, and it’s going to quite army-barmy, but it’s not. I try to give life lessons, to talk about my experiences and how I learned from them. How I overcame issues and succeeded, or when I did fail how I bounced back.

I talk a lot about mind-set, I’m a strong believer in positivity. I’ve failed a lot in my life – I’m not afraid to say that – but I’ve learned from my mistakes and moved on. I want people to come out of the event feeling energised, positive and having learned something.

I want to give a truthful story on how I’m here today. I have failed, like everyone else in their life, but it’s about the specific mind-set to get me where I am today. And that everyone can do it.

It must be difficult to keep that positivity, especially on your way up Everest which you recently conquered for a new TV show.

There are moments I thought I wasn’t going to make it. We all have those doubts when that negativity kicks in. It depends how long you keep that negativity within yourself. It’s like a disease, if you keep it in yourself too long it’s going to grow and grow.

When I was on Everest and I thought I wasn’t going to make it, I thought “Ant, have a word with yourself. Calm down, what’s the outcome, what are you going to do about it?”

I do have those negative thoughts but I don’t allow them to grow. I flip it straight away and think about how I need to practice what I preach and get on with things.

How was that overall experience of climbing Everest?

It’s just another tick off my list. I haven’t celebrated it. I’ve been there and done that, and now it’s about what’s next. I’m very proud of the achievement but it’s done. It’s always about challenging myself. I don’t rest on my laurels – I’m always up for that next positive buzz.

It’s a living in the moment mentality.

You know what, it is. It’s definitely about living in the moment. I don’t live too far in the future. I look at what challenges each day will present, or how I’m going to challenge myself.

When I’m at home the challenge is to be the best dad, and the best husband. When I’m at work it’s about being the best at work.

I see the world as a very small place. I don’t get excited about the size of the world. You can travel to any point of the world in 24 hours. It’s not big, so it’s about what you find out there. It’s about what you find in your world.

What made you decide to take the leap into television?

It sort of fell into my lap really. The thing about the TV career is that fame doesn’t bother me. I didn’t go into it to be famous. I went into TV because Channel 4 was poking their nose around in the Special Forces circles, which is so small. One phone call led to another, and I was asked to do a course. I did it just because I wanted to do the course.

Again it’s just about the challenge and the opportunity. I seized it and it just grew and grew. Now I keep going until I reach the top.

And that’s the same outlook you have on the tour?

100%. When I’m on tour it’s a regimented thing; talk, go back to hotel and sleep, get up and train, revise and talk. It’s exciting when you get on stage, but apart from that you’re working on what you want to deliver. People have paid to come and see me so I’m not going to give a half-hearted show. I’m not a half-hearted person anyway.

There’s a massive responsibility. Some people see me as a role model. Youngsters look up to me. I don’t look at it as a privilege, that’s responsibility right there.

I’ve got something I want to deliver and want people to take something away and learn from it.

Ant Middleton is bringing his show to the following towns and cities:

31 August 2018 – St David’s Hall, Cardiff
1 September 2018 – Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
2 September 2018 – Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
4 September 2018 – Barbican, York
5 September 2018 – Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline
6 September 2018 – King George’s Hall, Blackburn
7 September 2018 – Venue Cymru Theatre, Llandudno
8 September 2018 – Guildhall, Portsmouth
9 September 2018 – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London
11 September 2018 – New Theatre, Oxford
12 September 2018 – City Hall, Sheffield
14 September 2018 – Regent Theatre, Stoke-On-Trent
15 September 2018 – Grand Hall, Scarborough
16 September 2018 – O2 Apollo, Manchester

Tickets for An Evening With Ant Middleton are available now through Ticketmaster.co.uk.

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