With tough chief instructor Ant Middleton in charge, the stars will be put through their paces over the show’s infamous seven-day course to see if they’ve got the grit to pass the gruelling SAS selection process.
Unlike previous series, this celebrity version was filmed in the Andes Mountains in Chile.
Channel 4 explained, “The DS and recruits will be based in an abandoned ex-military forward operating base in the brutal and spectacular Andes mountains and will be tested to the extremes of winter warfare in the most deadly environment of them all.
A mix of famous faces from the worlds of sports, entertainment and politics will leave their showbiz bubble to take part in the most difficult show on television.
Amongst some of the fitter contestants, Olympic double-gold medallist Victoria Pendleton, former England footballer Wayne Bridge and rugby stars Helen Fisher and Ben Foden will be testing their strengths in the unforgiving Chilean mountains.
Love Island series three runner-up Camilla Thurlow and ex-Made In Chelsea staple Sam Thompson are also set to face the elements, alongside presenters AJ Odudu, Jeff Brazier, Dev Griffin and Andrea McLean.
Course consultants Jason ‘Foxy’ Fox, Mark Billingham and Matthew Ollerton will be alongside Ant Middleton to put our celebs through their paces.
What can we expect in Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins for SU2C on TV?
Although the celebrity edition of the show is designed to raise money for good causes, Middleton and the rest of his team won’t be pulling any punches.
Foxy explained, “We took great pleasure bringing these celebrities into our world and giving them as hard a time as we give anyone.
“There’s been no allowance made for fame or status; the celebrities have had to push themselves to the limit and reveal themselves like never before.
” alt=”SAS: WHO DARES WINS [SERIES 4]” classes=””] ” alt=”SAS: WHO DARES WINS [SERIES 4]” classes=””] ” alt=”SAS: WHO DARES WINS [SERIES 4]” classes=””] (Channel 4)“We’ve learnt about each celebrity’s strengths and weaknesses, hopes and fears, and come to an understanding of who they really are.”
Much like the civilian version, the SU2C edition of the show looks to test both the physical and psychological resilience of the celebs.
The first episode sees a particularly tough opening task, with a few of the celebrities struggling with the pressures both on their bodies and their minds almost straight away.
Middleton added, “Celebrities go through their lives showing the public a front and face they want them to see but this process stripped all that away.
“They’ve importantly turned up to raise money for SU2C but also to learn something about themselves by facing extreme experiences.”
Is the show really as brutal as the civilian version of SAS Who Dares Wins?
From what we’ve seen so far in the first episode, yes.
After being boated in with bags on their heads, the celebrities’ courage is immediately tested as they are tasked with jumping from a helicopter into the sea – seeing one hopeful injured from the off.
They then fight two on one in a tense boxing challenge, before taking on a series of forfeits after one recruit mishears instructions.
Things are set to get even more intense in episode two, with a clip showing another recruit with their eyes rolling into the back of their head after one gruelling task.
“One hundred per-cent, we probably were a little bit harder on them just because I thought it was funny that we were trying to break these lot,” Foxy said. “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 because it’s celebs, it’s going to be easier. And we’re like, no we’re not going to do that. We want [the show] to keep its authenticity.”
“We had to rip [their glossy personas] down straight away,” Middleton added. “I didn’t treat them any different. I was hard on them, I’m always calculated on what I do.”
The celebrities themselves admitted the course was tough, with some claiming it was the hardest thing they had ever had to do. With a cast that includes athletes who have represented their country on an international level (and an Olympian in the shape of Victoria Pendleton), that’s quite a feat.
“It’s tough from the get go,” said former England footballer Wayne Bridge. “You can feel yourself going mental. With the temperatures and the altitude, it’s genuinely a struggle putting one foot in front of the other.”
“You’re in extraordinary pain,” added War Horse actor Jeremy Irvine, who has undergone real-life water-boarding and lost two stone for one film role. “Everyone has their mental drop, probably several times throughout each day. You have those little moments together. People you think would be amazing at some stuff, they suffer.”
“I felt like I’ve had a headache the whole time, you’re constantly arguing with yourself. I want to stop. No you can’t. I want to stop. I’m tired. I’m hungry,” said presenter AJ Odudu. “It’s a constant battle to keep you pushing on. I’m just in awe of what your body and your mind can achieve.”
Reality star Sam Thompson said, “The DS want to break you so you quit. The point is that its selection and they wheedle out the weak.
“If you show a weakness, they make you do [that weakness] more.”
But despite all the bluster from the Directing Staff, overall Middleton and crew were impressed.
“There were a few surprises. They all did a lot better than I thought,” said Foxy. “There was initial shock of capture, the cold water shock like, ‘Oh my God what have I let myself in for?’
“There was that adaptation phase where they got into the swing of things. Sam took longer than others because he’s an absolute clown but a lovable one no doubt. They all did really well.”