Victoria Pendleton is no stranger to going to the very extremes to succeed – she is, after all, one of the UK’s most decorated Olympians.
But the 38-year-old former cyclist said she found the seven day training course for Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins for Stand Up to Cancer just as tough.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other journalists at the press day, she explained she particularly struggled with the lack of schedule.
“The biggest thing about this is whenever I’m training or going into a competition, I know it’s got a start and an end and what I have to do,” Pendleton said. “With this, we had no idea from the very beginning.
“The first night we went to bed we had two hours sleep and you have the light come on. You’re on edge the whole time, and that’s the challenging thing. I absolutely love a plan so having none and not knowing what’s happening next, it’s very different.”
When pushed by fellow co-stars Jeremy Irvine and Sam Thompson over whether it really was harder than being in the Olympics, she laughed, “Yeah it’s harder than the gold.”
Pendleton’s comments come after chief instructor Ant Middleton claimed they weren’t going to go any easier on the celebrities taking part in the charity edition of the show just because they were famous.
“I didn’t treat them any differently,” Ant said. “Celebrities have this glossy side to them. We had to rip that down straight away.
Directing Staff (DS) Jason ‘Foxy’ Fox added, “We didn’t pull any punches. In the grand scheme of things I feel like we definitely went harder because we didn’t want this to be dumbed down. There’s a lot of sceptics out there thinking it’s celebs and we’re like, no we’re not going to do that. We want to keep its authenticity.”
Celebrity SAS Who Dares Wins for Stand Up to Cancer continues Sundays at 9pm on Channel 4