Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s former bodyguard Billy Billingham reveals what it was really like working with ex-couple – Exclusive

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s former bodyguard Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham has opened up about his experience working for the Hollywood stars before their split in 2016. 

Speaking to HELLO! in an exclusive interview to promote the launch of the British Forces Broadcasting Service’s new UK radio schedule, the SAS: Who Dares Wins star discussed his 18-month stint working for the former couple, praising their “amazing work ethic”. 

Mark 'Billy' Billingham© Paul Hampartsoumian / @paulhiphop
Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham worked as Brad and Angelina’s bodyguard for 18 months

Billy, who is a former SAS Sergeant Major and Special Forces Instructor, had a “great relationship” with Angelina and Brad, who were one of Hollywood’s most famous couples until their infamous divorce. 

Praising the pair as “fantastic people”, Billy said: “I learned a lot from them as much as they learned from me. I was there to provide a service, which is security for them and their family so they could have a decent life and I did that.

“In the meantime, I watched how they worked and learnt about their work ethic and impeccable timing

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie attend a private reception as costumes and props from Disney's "Maleficent" are exhibited in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital at Kensington Palace in 2014 i© Getty
Billy praised the former couple’s work ethic

“They’re just normal people,” he continued. “Obviously, they’re very well known and in the public eye all the time, but they’re just down-to-earth people, just like you and I.”

Billy explained how Brad, Angelina and their children would move around as a family when the actors were filming. “Whoever was filming was a ‘primary’, so that’s the person I would be close by to take to set and travel around with,” explained the 58-year-old. “Then when they were secure and safe, I’d go back and support whoever wasn’t working and get them to where they needed to be.”

On the biggest lesson he learned from the stars, Billy said it was their “work ethic”. 

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt attend the "The Tree Of Life" Premiere at Palais des Festivals in 2011© Getty
Angelina and Brad split in 2016

“Their time schedule was phenomenal,” he said. “They always made time for each other, for their children, their work and for charity and that’s an everyday occurrence. I was exhausted watching them doing it and they never, ever faulted on it, either of them.

“I learned a lot about work ethics and putting in the time and effort,” he added.

It wasn’t all work and no play, though. The trio had plenty of fun together during downtime. “Behind the scenes when we had time to sit and talk, you see how real they are and just have a laugh and a joke, playing pranks on each other,” revealed Billy, adding: “They were just down to earth, real nice people.

angelina jolie at premiere with five children© Getty
Brad and Angelina share six children together

Billy spoke to HELLO! ahead of the launch of BFBS Radio’s new UK radio line-up, which he celebrated by going head-to-head with 100 members of the public in an epic paintball challenge.  

Billy, plus ex-sniper Richard French and former Royal Artillery sergeant Hannah May, ran rings around their opponents at Go Paintball London, showcasing the exceptional abilities of the British military. 

Hannah May, Mark 'Billy' Billingham and Richard French© Paul Hampartsoumian / @paulhiphop
Hannah May, Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham and Richard French faced 100 members of the public in a paintballing challenge

Billy has a long-standing history with the BFBS, which launched a new UK line-up this week, including a new national Breakfast Show, a Drivetime show networked worldwide, and an Evening show from BFBS Northern Ireland.

For those who don’t know, the BFBS is a military charity and media organisation that entertains, informs, connects, and champions the UK Armed Forces.

Mark 'Billy' Billingham playing paintball © Paul Hampartsoumian / @paulhiphop
The paintball match was organised by the BFBS

“My affiliation with BFBS started right at the beginning of my military career in 1983,” said Billy, who explained how the BFBS’s radio network would keep him and his comrades updated with what was happening at home when they were posted to far away countries. 

“I remember as a kid, it was like that comfort blanket and reconnection back home to the family. It was amazing,” he said, adding: “Then after that, everywhere I served, BFBS were there.”

BFBS paintball event© Paul Hampartsoumian / @paulhiphop
The event was held to mark the launch of BFBS radio’s new UK schedule

On the charity’s important work, he said: “It’s not just serving members, it’s veterans. It gets them back together and reminds them of the great times they had in the military and for their families too, it’s a great connection.”

Watch how the adrenaline-fuelled 3 vs 100 challenge played out and listen to BFBS Radio’s new line-up at bfbs.com/paintball.

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