SAS: Who Dares Wins’ Ollie Ollerton says instructors threatened to quit after he was dropped in “diversity drive”

The SAS: Who Dares Wins instructor said he was "disappointed and shocked" by removal from the show.

Matthew Ollie Ollerton

SAS: Who Dares Wins’ Matthew ‘Ollie’ Ollerton has claimed the other instructors on the Channel 4 series threatened to leave after the broadcaster axed him from the show.

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The former soldier is set to be replaced in the next series of the military-style competition, in  a bid to diversify the show’s line-up of instructors, according to The Sun.

Speaking to the publication, the 49-year-old, who has appeared on all seven seasons of SAS, said he was “disappointed and shocked” by his removal from the series.

“Five years ago we put our heads above the parapet for the first time ever – threatening our security as former members of the Special Forces – to bring that show to fruition. I expected that loyalty to be reciprocated. It clearly wasn’t,” he added.

“I’d rather have left after doing something wrong, as at least I would have understood it.”

Ollerton isn’t the only instructor set to be cut from the show, with Channel 4 reportedly dropping his co-star Jay Morton also. The two instructors will reportedly be replaced by a new recruit and Ollerton says this decision has been taken in order to fit new diversity guidelines.

The ex-marine also claimed the other instructors – Ant Middleton, Jason ‘Foxy’ Fox and Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham – threatened to quit the series when they learned of Ollerton’s departure, before adding that he convinced them all to stay without him.

“There are two types of people in this world, those who can do the job and those who can’t. I don’t care what colour they are,” he said. “I feel people forcing the diversity agenda upon us are actually keeping racism alive and creating a divide. It doesn’t allow us to unify.”

He added that diversity among the team of instructors would be difficult to achieve due to numbers in the military: “There’s a low amount of ethnic minorities who apply to get in the military, then the number of people who get through Special Forces selection is low.”

He continued: “Then you’ve another issue, getting people who want to be on TV, because a lot of Special Forces out there will not do that show. Never. Not a chance.”

When asked whether diversity creates a better team, he said: “No, great individuals with good team ethics do. You either can do your job or you can’t do your job.”

“The more we drive this agenda — and drive diversity over functionality — it’s just going to create more friction between people within a team, rather than just allowing a team to do what it does. We’re human beings and we work together regardless of colour, gender or age.”

Ollerton also tweeted about his interview with The Sun, writing that it’s “time to move forward” and thanking his fans for supporting to show, before teasing: “Exciting projects to come”.

SAS: Who Dares Wins first began on Channel 4 in 2015 and has since aired five civilian series and two celebrity series.

The last series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins ended in May, with Paralympian Lauren Steadman and DJ Locksmith emerging as winners. The show’s next series is due to air next year.

RadioTimes.com has reached out to Channel 4 for comment but has yet to receive a response.

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