03/09/2015 13:32 BST | Updated 03/09/2016 06:59 BST

BBC2 Special Forces Ultimate Hell Week: Inside Story

Gasping for air, my body is convulsing with cold, I strain my muscles to work - to warm me but more importantly to keep me out of the eye of the Navy Seals who are looking to single people out for extra punishment.


The green hills of Southern Wales rolled by outside my window unnoticed. My hands we're clasped in my lap, my fingers danced slowly as if to a melancholic bolero. A nervous chatter filled the bus but I didn't hear the words.

My phone started vibrating and another text popped up wishing me luck and telling me to stay happy. Without even a smile I put the phone back in my pocket - I felt anything but happy.

Beside me were 29 of the fittest and toughest men and women the UK had to offer. Our destination 'BBC 2 Special Forces: Ultimate Hell Week'. 6 Special Forces from around the world were being brought in to see if they could break the people who sat beside me on the coach, myself included. The Israeli Yamam, the Russian Spetsnaz and of course the British SAS were the names the rumours focused on during the lead up.

We'd been told to prepare ourselves for sleep depravation, starvation, and interrogation. Brutal work outs, and torture had also been promised. I knew it was going to be tough. Probably the toughest thing I'd ever done.

I've completed Ironman triathlons, raced in my countries team kit, cycled 9,000 miles from London to India, broken world records, taken part in European CrossFit competitions amongst other crazy sporting challenges. I'd survived falling 10m off a cliff face, I'd endured a 50mph bicycle accident, and suffered sickness in India like no other. How much tougher could this be?

The short answer? A lot tougher.

What I was about to take part in would leave me with wounds all over my body, numb toes, 10kg less muscle, and night terrors that woke me tangled within my own sheets endlessly...

The first Special Forces that welcomed us were the US Navy Seals. When I say 'welcome' I use the word it in the loosest possible terms. We were told to get in a press-up position and then the most brutal PT session ensued, whilst being put under as much mental strain as our hosts could harness.

Falling into bed that night it felt like my body was broken beyond repair. I was absolutely considering quitting right there and then. I felt like I was the only one who was suffering. I fell into a sleep that felt like it might never end.

Again, I was wrong.

Boom! A grenade goes off. Smoke bombs fill the air. Machine gun fire rings in your ears. At 1am we were woken by the Navy Seals for what literally felt like hell. I don't remember it at all - my body and mind were crushed by the demands of the workout. I do remember a camera being shoved in my face, my first moment in the public eye, and a question coming from the darkness 'How are you doing Danny?' This was my chance to make a good impression, to make my mark, to show everyone what a 'tough guy' I was. My response... "I'm feeling a little emotional," as I physically force back the tears. Perfect.

Life didn't get any easier after this but from somewhere deep within me my happiness returned and that happiness was, I believe, the strongest weapon in my armoury when facing the other Special Forces.

BBC2's Ultimate Hell Week.