SAS Who Dares Wins celebrity recruit Tony Bellew has bragged that he and his teammates would have been the “greatest SAS soldiers ever” had they followed his daring plan of stealing a car to evade being captured by the Hunter Force.
The former world champion professional boxer admitted this during an interview with his fellow recruits before the final episode airs on Monday, May 25, in which they spoke about what happened behind the scenes on the Channel 4 SAS selection show.
With a tongue-in-cheek tone in his voice, Tony jokingly said:
“I’m not joking - I was going to steal that car.”
However, he never reached the point of seriously following through with the plan.
He wanted to distract the owner of, what Hollyoaks actress Nikki Sanderson described as, a “multiplex mansion with like sports cars outside” by getting Rudimental musician DJ Locksmith involved. He said:
“I said to Locky, you go up and knock on the front door, go round the side and Locky said bro, I’m black and this is Scotland”.
Tony then decided upon a different tact by asking Nikki to knock on the door instead. He jokingly said:
"... I was going to steal that man’s car. We would never have been caught and we’d be the greatest soldiers that had ever been seen on SAS Who Dares Wins.
“We may have been captured by the police, but we would not have been caught by the Staff.”
Meanwhile, TV presenter Helen Skelton has revealed that her appearance on Celebrity SAS Who Dares Wins has caused her problems because her young sons now try to recreate the daring challenges at home. She has only allowed them to see short clips of her time on the show but seeing her jump out of a helicopter into choppy water has inspired them to be as daring. She said:
“I caught them yesterday trying to zip wire out of the bedroom window.
“They got my boxing wraps and they tied them together, they threw it out of the window and thought they could zip wire with it.”
After being told they couldn’t do it and determined to do something exciting, the boys continued in their search for adventure. The Countryfile presenter said:
“... they took it and tied it to the wendy house and started pulling it across the garden saying they were doing Strongman.”
When asked whether it’s difficult to take Chief Instructor Ant Middleton and his Directing Staff (DS) of Jason ‘Foxy’ Fox, Billy Billingham, Ollie Ollerton and Jay Morton seriously while they’re shouting and swearing in their faces knowing full well that they’re celebrities just like them Helen said:
“That might seem like a character, but they don’t stray from that at all.
“I’ve never met Ant, I was terrified of them all, Billy especially.
“When they’re shouting and barking and b*******ing and whatever I don’t think you do ever think ‘oh, this isn’t that serious’.
“You’re in their world and you take it really seriously.”
Actress Nikki explained that the moment the recruits get in the car on the way to their first mission and get a bag put over their head it becomes real. She said:
“It’s 24 hours a day and it’s non-stop and never at one point do you think, ‘oh, there’s Ant Middleton’ you look at him and the rest of the Staff and they’re your boss for the time you're there.
“And there’s always that respect there. You never, ever drop that the whole time you’re there.”
The “non-stop" show surprised a couple of the recruits who thought it wouldn’t be as harsh as it was. At one-point, former Blue Peter presenter Helen said:
“You’re not going to get recommissioned if you carry on like this. I didn’t sign up for this.
“Ant does know us, and I’ve got the same agent as him so I think … they’re obviously pushing it as far as they can and that’s good, that’s what we all signed up for, to be pushed as far as we could.
“I think there were moments when I thought ‘what is happening? This is too much.”
Whereas, Tony was surprised from the first night.
Having never taken part in a reality TV programme before, the former boxer assumed that after the cameras had stopped filming for the night, they would all be taken into an area where there would be comfortable beds so they could get some real sleep. However, he was mistaken. He said:
“I was getting the bo****** absolutely kidded off me because every night that didn’t happen.
“I was sleeping on this thing they call a bed. It wasn’t even a bed - my feet would hang over the ends of it.
“I had boots on. I had pain for a while. It was stressful.
“When you're in that situation and I’m not sh****** no one, it intensified by the hour because your arse is constantly on edge.”
How Did The Recruits Survive Interrogation?
In the final episode of this Celebrity SAS Who Dares Wins 2020, the recruits endure a brutal interrogation challenge, during which they are put in stress positions and questioned by a specialist interrogation unit who pile on the pressure to see who will crack first.
‘Resistance to interrogation’ is a vital stage of SAS selection. It prepares recruits for enemy capture by subjecting them to techniques not permitted by Britain’s armed forces.
However, it’s not just the specialist interrogation unit that dish out the brutal treatment. Ant and the DS are the ones who move the recruits into different stress positions. DJ Locksmith “completely lost it” when, at one point, he thought Ant started hitting him in the stomach. He said:
“By this time, I completely lost it, my tempers gone, and he’s hitting me in the stomach and I’m headbutting him and … I’m like f*** off, I wanna get out of here.”
The drum ‘n’ bass musician said the main thing keeping him from voluntarily withdrawing (VW) from the show during the interrogation challenge was his pride. While blindfolded, he imagined fellow recruit, reality TV star Joey Essex, was opposite him. Locksmith said:
“All I could see was an image of him and I said there’s no way I’m leaving, and Joey Essex is still standing there.
“That got me through a lot of it. My boys at home would never let me live it down.”
What Was Going Through Their Heads?
Some fans of the show might be surprised by Lauren’s memory of the interrogation phase of the course. She revealed that she “went to a deep dark place, stayed there and got on with it” and that she actually fell asleep, a lot. She said:
“All I know is my knees kept buckling and then I realised after a while my knees weren’t giving but I just fell asleep.
“We’re that tired. I remember we were in one stress position and I don’t know if it was to hurt us a little bit more, and afterwards found out it was Ant, stretching us out and I was like ‘oh God, thank you for that’.
“I don’t know if he realised he was helping. I felt so much better.”
In between being interrogated, each recruit was put into a stress position, hooded and had to wear headphones with, among others, the sound of babies crying and nails scraping down a chalkboard. DJ Locksmith revealed that he survived the stress position element of interrogation by imagining the sounds played on a loop were samples in a studio. He explained:
“When we’re in the studio, we’re listening to sounds or samples over and over again ... so I put myself in the position of being in a studio and making a tune to baby screaming and scratching on the walls and high frequencies that were going through my head.
“I was even speaking to myself, calling out bandmembers names ‘I was like Kesi, yeah that sounds sick bro’.”
Asked whether there might be a Rudimental song coming out soon based on his experience of being in a stress position on SAS Who Dares Wins, the 33-year-old said:
“That would be the end of my career that.”
How Did The Recruits Support Each Other?
During episode five of Celebrity SAS Who Dares Wins, DJ Locksmith found himself struggling to pass a brutal challenge after injuring his knee. Despite his injury, and with encouragement from Nikki and DS Billy, Locksmith completes the race.
In an incredibly moving moment, Lauren and Tony sit either side of the Rudimental musician and shower him with words of support and encouragement. Tony said:
“You’ve just shown resilience of the highest order. You’re the number one boy here by a f***ing mile."
Speaking before the final episode aired, DJ Locksmith revealed what it was like to be cared for by his fellow recruits when he was physically and emotionally exhausted.
“There’s a lot of moments like that that probably hasn’t been shown and the fact that Tony and Lauren were beside me in that moment kept me going and it was a beautiful moment.
“In hindsight whilst I was in it, I was in a whole different world, but it definitely got me through it.
“We had moments like that, not just myself but all over the gaff, it was great.”
During the series Tony spoke a lot about his aggression and that he is a maniac and it is “only a matter of time until it erupts”. Another side of Tony was equally as prevalent. His compassion and loyalty for others shone through but he is modest about this. He said:
“Everyone got each other through at certain moments. Everyone … has up times, down times.
“Everyone relied on someone at some point or another. Everybody needed somebody at a certain point going into that show.
“I was no different to any of the others and they were no different from me I think.”
Celebrity SAS, Tonight, 9pm, Channel 4. All episodes available on All 4