Louise Mensch on why she had to pull out of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins

The former Conservative MP elected to voluntarily withdraw from the gruelling show


We’re apparently a nation that loves watching celebrities in discomfort – ever since we sat giggling at Paul Burrell as he shrieked his way through a Bushtucker Trial in 2004’s I’m a Celebrity, we’ve seen no end of famous faces pushing themselves to the limits.


Following on from Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls, Channel 4 is experimenting with its toughest challenge show with a celebrity edition of SAS: Who Dares Wins, all for Stand Up to Cancer.

But if you’re thinking that Ant Middleton and the rest of the DS will go easier on the cohort of 12 celebrities just because they recognise them from TV, it seems you’re very much mistaken…

Author and former MP Louise Mensch was forced to ‘voluntarily withdraw’ from proceedings, handing in her number to Middleton after suffering a leg injury following a jump from a helicopter.

Ant Middleton Celeb SAS (Channel 4)

“I had to go to hospital and I had a three and a half centimetre rip in the back of my muscle,” she told RadioTimes.com and other journalists at the press day for the programme. “Literally every step was painful.”

But the 47-year-old’s decision to pull out of the show was partly altruistic.

“I had to quit,” she explained. “I didn’t want the team to have to keep taking punishments for me [slowing them down].”

Mensch added that despite it being such a brief excursion out in the Chilean mountains, it was still “an honour” to have worked alongside such dedicated soldiers in the programme.

“After I came out I thanked Ant for his service,” she said. “People haven’t seen enough of that. We got the chance to do our best in front of men who are just heroes.

“I think SAS Who Dares Win is vitally important because young men need something to look up to. I’m really glad these shows are being made so people can see it and aspire to it.

“It was an honour to be in front of these guys who had risked so much for this country.”


Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins for Stand Up to Cancer continues Sundays at 9pm on Channel 4