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Different worlds Hell Week's Ray Goggins reveals he 'only knew two or three of the celebrities' this year

'I'm guessing they won't be offended'

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Ray runs once a week with a 25kg log on his back in order to stay sharp

Ray runs once a week with a 25kg log on his back in order to stay sharp

Ray runs once a week with a 25kg log on his back in order to stay sharp

He's the tough-talking Army Ranger who put 18 Irish celebrities through a gruelling week of torture but Ray Goggins admitted to the Sunday World he still finds it hard to leave his career behind him despite retiring six years ago.

As the hit series Ultimate Hell Week came to an end on Wednesday night with Ryan Andrews, Marc O'Neill, Peter Stringer and Melanie Nocher all making it through to the final showdown, the 50-year-old former Ranger admitted: "I genuinely don't think we were too hard on them.

"I would be able to complete everything we asked of the celebs this year. Of course. There's a limit to my strength so I would have struggled after a while holding the bar out in front of me. But that's when your mental strength kicks in.

"We practice everything in the weeks before the show. We wouldn't ask anything of them that we couldn't do ourselves.

"I am out of the Ranger Wing six years now, but I still run for an hour through a forest with a 25kg log on my back once a week."

"It's a physical and mental challenge that keeps me sharp. But I am not a f**king robot. When I'm not working I enjoy myself. Weekends are for beer and burgers."

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Ray runs once a week with a 25kg log on his back in order to stay sharp

Ray runs once a week with a 25kg log on his back in order to stay sharp

Ray runs once a week with a 25kg log on his back in order to stay sharp

The Cork man admits that he still misses the camaraderie and buzz of live missions. "I'm 50 but I do miss the craic of the live operations and the craic with the lads. We are not a trigger-happy country but in those missions you must realise that you are going up against militia who have no value on your life. We use lethal force when necessary. We have to go from 0 to 100 in a heartbeat. We train for that."

The Irish Army Ranger Wing is the elite of the elite and only a few ever make it into their ranks. Regularly compared to the likes of the SAS or Navy Seals, Goggins is proud that he and his former colleagues have a very good reputation globally.

"It's hard to compare but we do well in shooting," he laughs. "We are called in for some big missions, too, so you know we are held in high regard. We don't have the financial clout of some of the bigger countries, but when we are called in we get the job done.

"We are an extremely tight unit. There is a bond there that doesn't go away when you leave the unit. We meet up regularly and, obviously, there has been lots of craic around this show in recent years.

"But at the end of the day we are all alpha males so it is inevitable that we get competitive with each other. I've beaten up most of my best mates. That's how it is."

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One of the elements to Hell Week is that the contestants are all known by their number and not by name but the Drill Sergeant admits he struggled to identify most of this year's bunch.

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Ray (pictured right) says he didn’t recognise most of the celebrities

Ray (pictured right) says he didn’t recognise most of the celebrities

Ray (pictured right) says he didn’t recognise most of the celebrities

"I don't mean any offence, but I only knew two or three of the celebrities on this year's season. Most of them don't operate in worlds that I am familiar with. So, I'm guessing they won't be offended.

"They are just numbers in the beginning. Obviously, as the series continues you get to know them more and learn their best and worst attributes. But in the beginning I don't care if they've made a huge success of themselves in whatever world they operate in."

The dad-of-two continued: "You always get surprise packages on this show. I don't predict who will do well because you always get surprised. A couple of the girls really showed a steely grit that I didn't know they had. And Ryan making it to the end with the injury was really impressive.

"A lot of people think the women are at a disadvantage on this show, but this year's women proved that theory wrong. They were brilliant. And I grew up with four older sisters so I know how tough and resilient women can be."

So is much of what viewers see on the show put on for the camera?

"Absolutely not. I am not a panto villain. What you see is exactly how I would treat any recruit. There is no script."

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