SAS: Who Dares Wins is back for 2021 with series six on Channel 4 - meet the cast of contestants here.
A line up of new recruits will leave the comfort of their homes and head into the wilds of Scotland, to be put through what the DS (Directing Staff) believe to be their toughest, most unforgiving selection course in the six-year history of SAS: Who Dares Wins.
If the new group of recruits want to make it through each phase, they need to prove to the DS that they have the strength, resilience and endurance to pass this year’s selection course.
Chief Instructor Ant Middleton and his team of Directing Staff, Foxy and Billy, are joined this year by a new DS, Melvyn Downes. The 56 year old, ex-SAS operative spent 24 years serving in the British Military, including 11 years in the SAS.
Melvyn isn’t the only new face on this year’s Directing Staff team. The DS will place a former member of the Special Forces undercover for the first six days of the course, acting as their eyes and ears on the inside. At the midpoint of the course, he will shock fellow recruits by swapping over to the other side, joining them as the fifth member of the team.
Meet the contestants on the the new series of SAS: Who Dares Wins below...
Hometown/Region: From Brescia, Italy but now lives in Truro, Cornwall
Justin says: "I’ve always been a huge fan of the show. In fact my first thought on my 18th was that I was old enough to apply for SAS: Who Dares Wins!! Since I was 15, I have been training in bodybuilding, sailing competitively at an international level and two years ago I started CrossFit, so I’ve always been physically strong but I wanted to put my mind to the test too."
Profession: Sport and Fitness Channel Manager
Hometown/Region: St Helens, Cheshire
Lauren says of signing up: "I enjoy a challenge and wanted to see if my life experience, training and my ability to apply to myself could be shaken. I have always had people behind me telling me I can do anything, so I wanted to see if I could."
I needed something to focus on. I have made many life choices but I wanted this to be something my family would be proud of.
Profession: Solicitor and Personal Training Gym Owner
Rebekah says of signing up: "I’d reached an all-time low. I was stuck in another destructive relationship, was recovering from viral meningitis, had no family to lean on for support, no money and no job, all of which made me let go of myself. I wondered how I allowed myself to fall back to rock bottom after making a success of myself since I was made homeless at 16. I had been stripped of all my confidence and felt completely lost.
"I knew I had to find a new focus and a goal. So I set my sights on a big challenge, just like I had to back when I was 16 and found myself alone at a bus stop, with nowhere to go and nothing to my name except my determination and the will to positively succeed against all odds. So I decided to apply for this show. I never expected to be accepted, but it gave me the impetus, and focus I needed to pull myself out of a dark hole for the sake of myself and my son."
Profession: Personal trainer/coach
Hometown/Region: From Huddersfield but lives in Leeds
Reanne says of signing up: "I noticed I was holding myself back in so many areas of my life and it was stemming from my mindset and past trauma. I hated the feeling and I wanted an opportunity to prove that I can control myself under extreme circumstances and endure anything. Also that my adversity doesn’t have to define me as a person. If anything, it makes me stronger. "
Profession: Circus Artist/Project Manager
Hometown/Region: Manchester living in Derby
Why Holly signed up: "I turned 30 not long before signing up and as a transgender woman with mental health issues, who has been single her entire life, I guess I was really insecure in myself. Plus what woman wants to date a 6’4 trans muscle queen? So one of the reasons I signed up was because with my mental health issues and feeling like I was going to be single for the rest of my life, having never had a relationship, I needed to do something to prove to myself that no matter what life throws at me I’m going to be okay. I also wanted to make my parents proud and prove to them that I’m strong mentally."
Profession: Entrepreneur, owns beauty clinics and a tech start up
Hometown/Region: North London, originally from Pakistan
Shireen says of signing up: "I fall into the typical stereotype of a small young Muslim Pakistani girl who would never be able to get into SAS, let alone pass the fitness test. I wanted to be the example for all the young Asian Muslim women who may one day want to join the SAS, to say if I can do it so can you!"
Profession: Online Fitness Coach
Hometown/Region: Carlisle, Cumbria
Tyler says of signing up: "I have watched every season of the show. When I discovered that females were beimg accepted, I knew this was something I had to do.
"I wanted to find out who and what Tyler is truly about. For years I felt I had lost touch with who I was, almost like I was lost in life and had no idea what my purpose in life was. I hit an all-time low and found a way of escaping my pain through the use of alcohol and drugs. When I got myself into trouble with the police and received a prison sentence, I knew this wasn’t the life for me. I had to change NOW. No second chances, this was my time to take back control."
Hannah says: "I signed up to the course for two reasons; my family and myself. For as long as I can remember I have struggled with anxiety. In the events leading up to the course my anxiety controlled every aspect of my life. I was over-sensitive and over-analysed most, if not all situations. I felt isolated in my own mind and needed to be stripped of all the comforts and conventions that I used to conceal or ignore my anxieties. I was desperate and wanted to be broken down to expose my fears so I could face them head on.
"I also signed up for my family. The months preceding the course were the worst of my life. I love my husband but we were struggling. I didn’t understand him or the experiences that had shaped his life. I would do anything for my family so I applied for the course in the hope that it would allow me to experience, albeit for a brief moment, a snapshot of his world. If it gave me even a small piece of understanding then in my mind it would have been worth it."
Profession: Telecoms account executive
Hometown/Region: Farnham, Surrey
Phoebe says: "I’ve always wanted to be a part of SAS: Who Dares Wins but I’ve never had the courage to apply before. I’m heavily into the gym, so I push myself physically a lot of the time but I wanted to test my mind. I’ve been through various things over the years which have made me stronger mentally in some aspects but I still have a lot of things I’m working on. I struggle massively with confidence/self-belief/self-acceptance, so I wanted to strip everything away and really see if I had the determination and capability."
Ricky says of signing up: "In all honesty, I was drunk and a bit lost. I needed a purpose. I needed a cause. I needed a reason to stop drinking. To stop taking drugs and to refocus my pain onto something positive that will help me heal instead of wallow in self-pity and despair. Instead of a life of guilt, I chose a life of closure and hope."
John say: "I really wanted to do something wild but amazing. Something with a pleasure pain feeling. I wanted to find out more about myself. Why have I been struggling with anxiety for a decade? I thought to do this and meet people like the DS would be great for my morale and learn new things. They spoke a lot of sense and made me think differently about things. I now realise things are not so bad. It’s always worse in your head and I wanted to break that cycle."
Profession: Sports teacher and Head of Year
Sean says: "The first lockdown really affected my mental health. I struggled to find routine and also had some personal issues I was dealing with. The thought of being away in an unknown location without any contact with the outside world was really positive and gave me something to focus my mind on."
Profession: Works in the Fitness Industry
Jake says: "I signed up because I felt very lost in life. After losing Emily back in 2019, I fear sometimes that I have given up in life without her. I needed to prove to myself that I hadn't. I screamed down that cliff during the abseil task, but the fact I walked off that edge proved that I still had some fight left in me."
Profession: Salon Owner
DJ says of the show; "I see it as the ultimate challenge. I don’t think there’s any other TV series that challenges you physically and mentally like SAS: Who Dares Wins. For me, more than anything, I have two children who, at 14 and 11, are at the age where they require a role model. I wanted to show them that you can step back and do something that you won’t necessarily succeed in."
Profession: Dental Engineer / Electrician
From: South London / Now living in Cornwall
Kieran says: "My partner and I binge watched the show. Each task that the recruits did looked really challenging but she kept telling me that she thought I would be able to do well. The more I watched, the more it made me want to apply! I never thought I would actually get chosen though. I wanted to challenge myself."
Profession: Business Owner
Hometown/Region: Rugeley, Staffs
Jamie says of signing up; "I have always been intrigued by how I would fair in the most challenging environments. I do however have a huge fear of failure and lack of confidence in myself. This show, I knew would test me like nothing else and I watched all the previous series comparing myself to the other recruits. Having gone through a few years of professional help to deal with childhood trauma, I felt strong enough to apply. The show marked a significant moment in my life in that my story needed to be told and my inclusion in the show validated this but it also brought some level of closure to a long and difficult period of my life."
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Alan says: "I wanted to sign up because of a situation that happened to me in 2020 when I lost my right eye to cancer. I wanted to show how even though I lost my eye, I would never class myself as disabled and I could and still do the same things other people can do."
Profession: Professional Irish Dancer
Hometown/Region: Newtownards, (Outside Belfast) Northern Ireland
Connor says: "I signed up to SAS: Who Dares Wins because I wanted to challenge the stereotypes attached to male dancers. As an Irish dancer, I’ve always been teased about being a wimp, girly and called gay because of my passion. I want to show that a male dancer can be masculine, powerful and tough and that dancers in general are as strong physically and mentally as anyone. My cause was to try to show any young upcoming male dancers, or anyone who does a sport or discipline that isn’t perceived as ‘manly’, that you can be strong, tough and overcome obstacles that are put in front of you. That it doesn't matter what other people think, if you have a passion then pursue that passion with all your strength and heart.
"I don’t think anything is more polar opposite of Irish Dancing than Special Forces training so I thought it would be the ultimate challenge to test myself to see if I can mix it with the best of the best."
Profession: PMP Recruitment warehouse supervisor / Part time commercial actor/model
Adam King says of signing up: "It’s a once in a life time experience! I wanted the chance to do the hardest course on TV and challenge myself. It’s a privilege to take part on a course that normal civilians wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to do. I just wanted to show that you can do whatever you put your mind to. I want to be a role model and show whatever wrong I have done in the past, I can move on from that to do better things in life. I shouldn’t be held back from my past life. I’m a product of that and not everyone knows of my past life, so wanted to share my story. It was a release for me. "