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THE sixth series of SAS: Who Dares Wins will return to screens this evening – and Ant Middleton will still be in it, despite being sensationally axed from his lead role.
Ant Middleton has been axed from Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares WinCredit: Minnow Films/Production Company. Channel 4 images
Why was Ant Middleton sacked from SAS: Who Dares Wins?
There was a social media backlash in June 2020 after Ant posted a video of violence at anti-racism protests in London.
He tweeted: “The extreme left against the extreme right. BLM and EDL are not welcome on our streets, absolute scum. What a great example you are to your future generation. Bravo.”
He was informed of the sudden decision by Channel 4 to no longer employ him on March 1, 2021 – just weeks ahead of the planned start date for the latest series.
Ant Middleton, 40, launched the hit show in 2015Credit: Handout
Reports also circulated that Middleton had been fired after female crew members raised concerns regarding “inappropriate comments” he had made.
The broadcaster has since said it will never work with him again due to his “personal conduct”.
Why is Ant Middleton still on SAS: Who Dares Wins season 6?
Filming has already completed on the sixth UK series of SAS: Who Dares Wins which will feature the former SBS star.
Ant will also star in a celebrity special this autumn. However he will not be invited to return in 2022.
He is currently Down Under filming the Australian version of the show with his co-star Mark Billingham.
What has Ant Middleton said about being sacked?
After it was revealed he had been axed from SAS: Who Dares Wins, Ant took to Instagram and said: “After five years on the show it just felt like I had achieved everything I could with the format.
“There’s so many other formats that I am working on now that feel more suited to who I am today.
“It’s been a brilliant experience being on that show but I’m honestly happy to let some new blood come in and put their own stamp on it.”
Ant Middleton’s departure is believed to be after a number of high profile gaffesCredit: Olivia West – The Sun
Speaking about the BLM tweet, Ant had previously defended himself at the time, telling The Sun: “If you have half a brain cell you will realise what I was talking about.
“It was the protesters fighting and violence and rioting in broad daylight.
Everything I fought for abroad to stop happening on our shores.”
A Channel 4 spokesperson said: “Ant Middleton will not be taking part in future series of SAS: Who Dares Wins.
“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.”
A TV insider said producers realised what a great asset Ant was to the show but felt he had made one mistake too many.
Middleton said comment he had made on set were simply “military banter”, and said Channel 4’s statements were “very reckless and desperate”.
“The excuses that keep coming like inappropriate comments… it’s all smoke and mirrors,” the ex-Special Forces soldier told Good Morning Britain.
Who is replacing Ant Middleton on SAS: Who Dares Wins?
Melvyn Downes will make his debut as a DS in tonight’s showCredit: Pete Dadds/Channel 4
After Ant Middleton’s final appearance in the sixth series, TV bosses are shaking up the line-up with a new fierce face to put contestants through their paces.
Former soldier Melvyn Downes will join the team tonight, joining Middleton, Jason Fox, and Mark “Billy” Billingham.
He will be the show’s first mixed-race officer and member of the Directing Staff (DS), which he said was a “great opportunity” to represent minorities on TV.
Future series which will air in 2022 could also see other new recruits elected to put members of the public to the test.
Mark Billingham let slip he the newbie s a long-time associate during an interview on Good Morning Britain.
“The new guy who they have got coming in – I won’t say who it is, because I don’t think they’ve released it – I have worked with him over many, many years,” he told presenters Kate Garraway and Alex Beresford.
“So you know. One in, one out. We will miss Ant but that is the way it is.”