It was the conflict of a generation, and one that many will never forget.

In one of the most horrific moments of Argentina's invasion of the Falkland Islands in April 1982, the RFA Sir Galahad was bombed by two Argentinian planes.

The event was to change Simon Weston's life forever. Eventually, and against the odds, the Welsh Guardsman escaped the burning and buckled ship, but only after suffering 46 per cent burns to his body.

From being on the front line of war, to the edge of death, Simon's road to physical, spiritual and mental recovery and the person it made him is the subject of My Life, My Story, his theatre tour which comes to the Regent Centre in Christchurch on Friday.

The evening is billed as 'truly inspirational' and, when Simon tells me that what happened to him was "one of those things", it's not hard to see why.

"It's a little bit of reality, but a lot of fun, I hope," he says, in his soft Welsh lilt.

"The reality of life is that nothing is as sad as it might seem. The fact of the matter is that there's more humour in the reality of life than there is in the things that other people can try to make up.

"I don't like to use the sadness and tragedy of it all, I just think that's too much for anybody to endure. I talk about some of it, but that's forever real."

Simon admits that the hardest part of reliving the horror of what happened to him all those years ago is seeing his mother upset.

"It's always difficult with the sadness," he sighs.

"It would be wrong to say I just brush over it, because I don't. But sometimes you just have to accept that those that you love are going to be uncomfortable in the situation. Watching her upset every time I do it is painful.

"I hope that people enjoy it and don't find it too emotional from the sadness side of it."

The 2017 tour follows a sell-out series of shows in 2015. But Simon, who is also an inspirational speaker in the corporate world, says he was "pleasantly surprised" by the public's reaction.

"I never expected it, I don't expect anything," he says, humbly.

"I just enjoy the audience reaction. If it goes well, you can't get anything better than that. It's lovely - I do enjoy myself."

Simon covers many stories during his talk, including aspects of being in hospital, being a soldier, being in the Falklands and why he joined the forces in the first place.

But he hopes the overall message is one of inspiration.

"People will take from it what they take," he says, "I hope that they have a very positive experience, they go out buoyed by the whole thing. Life is difficult, as everybody knows, but there is a way through sometimes - you can enjoy yourself.

"If, by living my life and doing what I do helps others to attempt to get the best out of themselves, then there can't be anything better.

"Motivation comes from within, inspiration comes from without. Other people can inspire you, but you have to motivate yourself."

Simon doesn't talk much to younger soldiers about his story these days - he feels they can relate more to people closer their own age who have gone through similar experiences.

"That way the youngsters get a far, far better appreciation of what it is that they have joined up for. They don't listen to old fogies like me.

"It's not all about Simon Weston, as much as I would like everybody to think so," he smiles.

When he's not touring the country at weekends, the grandfather-of-one is kept busy with his security company - he didn't receive any compensation, he tells me, matter of factly, so he still has to find a way to pay the bills.

But, despite admitting he doesn't get much "down time" he even manages to turn his working life into a positive.

"It's making the most of it when the sun shines - you don't know when it's going to start raining," he says.

"The one thing I have not done is exist in my own life - I have lived it. That's the joy of it. I've had a really great life - a lot of people can't say that.

"It makes me feel very happy."

Simon Weston is at the Regent Centre in Christchurch on Friday, March 24. Tickets are priced £18, with 50p from each ticket donated to the Regent Centre Development Fund, available from or 01202 499199.