Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins is back with a brand new series, in which a new line-up of 21 recruits are put through their paces by the show’s ex Special Forces instructors.
Ant Middleton has returned as Chief Instructor for these upcoming episodes, which were filmed before the SAS star left the show last year, however there are a few missing faces from the Directing Staff – namely Ollie Ollerton and Jay Morton, who quit the show last summer.
Not to fear – there’s a brand new instructor onboard who’ll be drawing on his military experience to subject this year’s contestants to some of the toughest physical and mental challenges they’ve ever faced.
Here’s everything you need to know about the SAS: Who Dares Wins 2021 instructors and the brand new DS.
Chief instructor Ant has been the Channel 4 series’ frontman since 2015 and is more than qualified for his role. He joined the Army at the age of 17, serving in the Parachute Squadron, before enlisting in the Royal Marines in 2005. The former soldier completed several tours of Afghanistan and served four years as a sniper in the Special Boat Service before joining SAS: Who Dares Wins.
In addition to his role on the military training show, Ant has appeared as the captain on adventure reality series Mutiny and Escape, and in 2018, he climbed Mount Everest for Channel 4’s Extreme Everest with Ant Middleton.
Ant now lives in Chelmsford with his wife Emilie and their five children.
He left the SAS: Who Dares Wins series in March 2021, but had already filmed two seasons prior to leaving – including series six.
New instructor Melvyn Downes is the latest addition to Middleton’s Directing Staff, becoming the first mixed race DS to join the series.
Having grown up in Stoke on Trent, Downes joined the army at 16 and went on to lead his patrol into combat in the first Gulf war before completing three tours of duty in Northern Ireland. He joined the elite special forces in 1994 and left after 24 years in the military.
Whilst in the SAS, Downes led top-secret missions and was awarded the rank of Warrant Officer.
Jason ‘Foxy’ Fox
Foxy has been with Who Dares Wins since its first series, where his extensive military background has come in handy. At 16, he joined the Royal Marines, where he served for twenty years before becoming a member of the Special Boat Service. Throughout his combat career, Foxy has led hostage rescue, counter terrorism and surveillance operations as well as counter narcotic missions.
He left the Special Forces in 2012 after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, which he talks about in his autobiography Battle Scars and has since cofounded Rock2Recovery – an organisation which fights against stress in the armed forces.
In addition to Who Dares Wins, Foxy has presented Meet the Drug Lords – Inside the Real Narcos and The Final Mission: Foxy’s War for Channel 4.
Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham
The ex-soldier, who grew up in the West Midlands, lived an exciting and dangerous life before joining Who Dares Wins. He joined the parachute regiment in 1983 until 1991, when he joined SAS as a Mountain Troop specialist. During his 27 years in the Army, he executed strategic operations, led hostage rescues (for which he received an MBE) and trained in Iraq, Afghanistan, South America and Africa. He was honoured with the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery after endangering himself to capture an IRA sniper.
After his time in the military, Billy became a bodyguard for A-List royalty, such as Brad Pitt, Jude Law, Kate Moss and Tom Cruise. After working for Sean Penn, he was given a role in the actor’s 2015 film The Gunman.
SAS: Who Dares Wins 2021 airs on Sunday 9th May at 9pm on Channel 4. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.