Special Forces hardman Ant Middleton is a secret softie who played with Barbie dolls after battle tours.
His wife Emilie said the SAS : Who Dares Wins star was able to block out the horrors of killing the enemy in Afghanistan by immediately playing with his daughter Shyla when he got home.
She revealed: “What was really important to us was that the violence and trauma from his work in the Special Forces never spilled over into the safe, happy home we’d built together.
“I remember one time him coming home from six months in Afghanistan. We never talked in too much detail on the phone, but we had code words we could use to communicate things, and of course the other wives talked among themselves.
“I knew it had been really nasty. Shyla had a Barbie tent back then. The second Anthony walked in he dived straight into the tent.
"He started playing with the dolls, talking to them as Shyla clambered all over him.
"I remember being amazed, thinking, ‘You’ve gone from all the brutality, to this. That’s a lot for me to take in. How are you processing it?'"
Ant Middleton says boozed-up lads at pubs constantly pick fights to test his strength
Emilie helped Ant, 39, write his latest book Zero Negativity, which they hope will be a self-help guide to help others through tough times.
She explained: “For him it was simple. He had a work head, and a home head.
"The second he came into the family home, the work head came off. The second he left it again, that was it. We weren’t in his thoughts anymore.
"Everything was black and white. It was something I loved about him.
"This very old-school manliness, which meant he could go out onto the battlefield, and then, when he came home, he wouldn’t bring any of that with him.
"The warrior had disappeared. In his place was a sweet, caring father," she added.
Ant also has children Oakley, Priseis, Gabriel and Bligh.
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