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SAS Australia host Ant Middleton reveals why he thinks TV viewers will love new reality show

Ant Middleton has a simple explanation as to why SAS Australia will appeal to television viewers.

“Everybody loves seeing celebrities suffer,” the tough-talking British military veteran told The West Australian.

Middleton has been charged with putting a batch of Aussie celebrities — including Schapelle Corby, Mitchell Johnson, Candice Warner and Merrick Watts — through their paces in a series designed to replicate the notoriously difficult SAS recruitment program.

“We don’t care who they are, where they have been or come from, they are a number until they prove otherwise,” Middleton said.

“This keeps everyone at a level playing field. People don’t think they are above each other.”

Middleton, who spent 13 years in the armed forces, enlisted when he was just 17 and went on to complete three tours of Afghanistan and also served in Northern Ireland and Macedonia.

But after leaving active service eight years ago, he was approached to take part in a series that was designed to replicate the notoriously difficult SAS recruitment programme.

Ant Middleton on SAS Australia.
Camera IconAnt Middleton on SAS Australia. Credit: NIGEL WRIGHT

Now, putting a batch of Aussie celebrities under the microscope, Middleton is leading an elite team of ex-Special Forces soldiers to see if some of our famous faces can complete the gruelling course.

And in this series, the celebrity participants are reduced to a number as per the real selection process. The slate is wiped clean.

In the real world, qualifying for the real SAS requires at least five years of distinguished military service.

Even after that, the failure rate is around 90 per cent. While the actual selection process takes six months, the celebrity recruits only have to endure a few weeks.

“The majority of people don’t have what it takes,” Middleton said. “Of the 202 people in my course, just eight of us passed.”

“This process is condensed and diluted but we put them through their paces. It’s tough love and a reality check to see what actually goes on out on the ground.”

Ant Middleton on SAS Australia.
Camera IconAnt Middleton on SAS Australia. Credit: NIGEL WRIGHT

Looking at some of the names that have signed up to the series, including Roxy Jacenko and Erin McNaught, many do enjoy the luxuries that their lives in the public eye has afforded them.

In the series the likes of Roxy Jacenko and Erin McNaught are restricted access to proper beds, toilets and showers.

“Living at camp is about going back to basics. They are p…ing and s…ting together and get to know each other whilst sitting on the toilet,” Middleton declared.

“We are looking for self-sustainable individuals that can go back to basics and look after themselves.

“The celebrities are so used to having people running around them, but here they have to think for themselves this time.”

In SAS Australia, there is no elimination process, the celebrities must voluntarily withdraw from the process. “This is a cut-throat, brutal course and if they have had enough, there is no shame in it … this course is not for most people,” he said.

“They are constantly wet and cold and miserable … it is brutal.”

SAS Australia premieres on Monday at 7.30pm on Seven/GWN7.

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