By News Team
Last Updated: 27th May 2020
The latest instalment of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins has just finished. The infamous SAS Selection test is led by tough chief instructor Ant Middleton and his team of staff, Foxy, Billy, Ollie and Jay. The team don’t care who these celebrities are or how famous they are as soon as they enter the selection process their celebrity status vanishes.
Here’s what celebrity Jeff Brazier from last year’s SAS show and Anthea Turner from this year’s current cast had to say.
Jeff, what made you want to go on the show Celebrity SAS, and did you watch the show before you went on it?
I’d watched all of them and they absolutely fascinated me, the way they break people down in order to actually help you to become a better version of yourself. I think we all watch it in horror and wonder what possesses people to put themselves through something like that but I also understand that if your into self-development, this is the most extreme way to discover yourself and sometimes only extreme will do.
What was your first challenge?
Saying Yes! But I actually fought hard to get on, honestly, lots of people dropped out in the weeks leading up to production and I was in the right place, with the right enthusiasm, at the right time! As far as the course was concerned my first experience was jumping out of the helicopter which was a pretty drastic introduction but personally the first challenge was meeting the group and finding your place amongst them. There were a lot of very successful people and I sometimes find it hard to know my value, I’m getting better at that thanks to this experience.
What was the hardest challenge?
The hardest challenge was building an igloo. Strange as it seems because there were harder challenges physically, but we’d been in the snow all day, we’d been up to our knees wading through freezing cold water, our sweat from the sledge pull and hill runs which were punishment for one or two of us not having our numbers visible under a layer had made it feel impossible to warm up no matter how hard we worked to shovel snow, being that cold whilst knowing the other team were racing ahead therefore it would be us spending the night in it absolutely ate away at any resilience you had left. Nobody gave up obviously but it was a miserable moment for me. I sat in the igloo spooning with Sam Thompson and I was almost unable to move. Fortunately I was with some good people who kept me going at that low point.
What did you think of your fellow celebs on the show?
I respected all of them first and foremost for being there but also for their reasons to want to put themselves through something like that. The psychology of human behaviour fascinates me and seeing them all confront their own fears and self -limitations on a minutely basis made me warm greatly to each and every one of them.
Who did you think was your biggest competitor on the show?
Biggest competition? Ben Foden. We naturally assume the biggest and strongest will prevail, we all wrongly assume that it is more physical than psychological but its 30% physical and the rest is in your head. Wayne Bridge looked like he was struggling with his knee in the early stages which makes his overall performance all the more impressive. You also don’t win Olympic medals without having exceptional qualities and attributes, so it was always clear Victoria Pendleton would do well.
What was your biggest fear?
Not finishing, letting my children down. My fear was something that could be used for motivation but it also distracted me from enjoying the experience more, like actually taking the enjoyment from every messed up highly irregular situation we were in. The DS repeatedly said that you have to have a sense of humour to get through their darkest moments in the military and I could have lightened up more.
How did you feel about the DS screaming in your face and ordering you about?
Honestly fine, it’s all a test isn’t it, I found it quite motivating and mildly reminded me of being a football apprentice back in my younger days. I liked it less when it was following an actual mistake that I’d made, I don’t like to disappoint and I also put high expectations on myself to always know what to do and there was something quite obvious that I missed.
What happens when the cameras aren’t rolling, is it really tough all the time?
You’re always in anticipation for what’s coming next so you never truly relax. You get into bed exhausted and know it’s only a few hours before you have to get up for lookout duty, your sleep is reduced to a few hours from the start because otherwise it wouldn’t be as tough right? You’re constantly wet, tired, and hungry and these are the ways your resolve is being tested constantly away from the footage we see.
What did you get out of your experience on the show?
I really, really wanted to get something from the experience and I wanted to take part in every minute of what they were going to throw at us to receive the full benefit. I achieved that but if I was to pick at a weakness, my focus was misguided, I was too focussed on my own personal experience and didn’t open myself enough to being a strong part of the group. I supported everyone but I didn’t tell anyone when I was struggling, always maintaining my sense of positivity and ‘can do’ mind-set. I learned it’s really useful to share our weaknesses honestly because they enable others to realise they’re not on their own in feeling a certain way. The person that maintains a sense of taking it all in his stride will seem less approachable and therefore not forge the strong connections within the group.
Anthea, why did you want to take part in Celebrity SAS?
It was one of life’s great adventures to take part in a show like this. Everything they do is to make you a team because you can see that’s the only way the Army works. I did it for me, I’m extremely lucky to be in television and be offered these experiences and I wanted to push myself like when I did the TV show ‘The Jump’.
Had you watched the show before?
I binge-watched the last series, the more I watched the more I thought what the …… I did call my agent worried and she said you’re doing it now there’s no going back. I must say I did arrive with a huge amount of trepidation.
How did you feel about Ant and team calling you ‘Grandma’ throughout the process and being the oldest recruit?
You have to just think I know what he’s trying to do here, in the Army there’s a lot of banter that goes on, and of course that’s what he was going to do. It was water off a duck’s back. I thought I am old enough to be your mum but not your grandma ha ha! Under any other circumstances you would definitely fire back a few well-chosen comments, but I totally understand what they do and I don’t hold it against them.
Which other celebrity did you get on with?
Surprisingly I got on with Katie Price. That was my revelation from this whole experience, I realised how gorgeous she is outside of the other character she has. There are two sides to Katie Price and meeting the real one was just lovely.
What did you make of Ant Middleton and his SAS Staff?
They kept their distance from us, they weren’t chummy with us off camera either – they were very separate. I think that is more realistic to what they are used to and works better for the show, however I don’t think it’s just because we are celebrities. I think that’s the way it works, them and us.
Anthea, you decided to leave the show second what made you do decide to leave?
Well I may not have lasted as long as some of my celebrity friends but I still feel for me my time on the show was successful. It was my dedication to the team-work and team spirit that was my driving force to leave as I couldn’t keep up physically, especially the cardio, [and] I didn’t want my team to be punished because of me. I remember Ant saying to me ‘Do you really want to let your team down?’ and I think that was the trigger for me.
Celebrity SAS was recorded before the isolation order