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Ant Middleton hits out over SAS: Who Dares Wins ‘axe’: It’s smoke and mirrors

He said Channel 4 ‘knew that I was going’.

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Ant Middleton (Ian West/PA)

Ant Middleton (Ian West/PA)

Ant Middleton (Ian West/PA)

Ant Middleton has hit out at Channel 4 after the broadcaster said it severed ties over his “personal conduct”.

Channel 4 issued a statement saying it will not work with the former soldier again because “our views and values are not aligned”.

But the SAS: Who Dares Wins star said it was his decision to quit the programme because it had become a “reality show”.

Middleton told Good Morning Britain: “It’s all smoke and mirrors.

“From the last episode of SAS: Who Dares Wins, when I filmed the last episode, it became a half-scripted sort of reality show.

“Full control was taken… for health and safety.

“And after that show, I said ‘I’m not going to film any more, I’m done with SAS: Who Dares Wins’.”

Middleton told the ITV show: “I wanted to part in a healthy way and in a positive way. And they knew that I was going.

“And all of a sudden they dropped this bomb… (that) I’ve been axed. And ultimately what they’re doing is they’re protecting their brand.”

Channel 4 previously issued a statement saying Middleton would not be taking part in future series of the show.

“Following a number of discussions Channel 4 and Minnow Films have had with him in relation to his personal conduct it has become clear that our views and values are not aligned and we will not be working with him again,” it said.

It’s a reality show nowAnt Middleton

Middleton, who previously faced a backlash over comments he made about the Black Lives Matter protests and coronavirus, said the statement was “desperate”.

“The course is a hardcore course… It’s gritty, you’re going to see inappropriate things, you’re going to witness inappropriate things.

“Over the years, PC patrol have kicked in, the woke patrol have kicked in, to the point where we can’t say anything, we can’t be ourselves.

“And it’s been so controlled and so managed and so inauthentic now that I’ve decided to walk away from it.”

He added: “This isn’t Dancing On Ice. This isn’t a Celebrity Big Brother, even though it’s turned into that… It’s a reality show now.”

Asked about reports that complaints were made by female crew about “inappropriate comments”, Middleton said: “There’s a new protocol that came in… that if they feel offended, or they want to complain, they can complain anonymously.

“So it’s obviously something that they’ve seen… a bit of military banter, they’ve seen a bit of military humour… and they really felt offended.”

A Channel 4 spokesman said: “Our decision not to renew Ant Middleton’s contract and not to work with him again was solely based on his personal conduct off camera and is not related to his on-screen persona.

“SAS: Who Dares Wins will continue to be as tough as it’s ever been.”

In June, Middleton apologised after he referred to Black Lives Matter protesters as “absolute scum” as he complained about the “extreme left” and “extreme right” taking to the streets.

Middleton said he was “anti-racist and anti-violence” after he deleted the tweet.

Middleton also previously backtracked on comments he made about the coronavirus pandemic after urging people to “carry on as normal”.

He told his social media followers to not “be a sheep” and said he did not believe Government advice to self-isolate applied to him because he is “strong and able”.

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Ant Middleton (Ian West/PA)

Ant Middleton (Ian West/PA)

PA

Ant Middleton (Ian West/PA)

He later said he had been “a bit insensitive towards the magnitude, the scale, of the crisis that’s happening in the UK”.

SAS: Who Dares Wins sees civilians put through gruelling military training exercises to test their psychical and mental strength.

Middleton also presented the programme’s celebrity spin-off, which has featured famous faces including reality star Joey Essex, former glamour model Katie Price and ex-footballer Wayne Bridge.

PA


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