THE sixth series of SAS: Who Dares Wins returned to screens earlier this month but has since been revealed that Ant Middleton has been sacked.
The 40-year-old hardman announced that he is moving to Australia, after he decided to leave “pretentious” UK behind, after what he has called a “witch hunt”.
Why was Ant Middleton sacked from SAS: Who Dares Wins?
Ant is understood to have been axed from the show after a series of high profile gaffes, which included a tweet about the Black Lives Matter movement.
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.
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.”
Speaking about his decision to move to Australia, he told The James Smith podcast: “I’ve got a great connection with Australia. My wife also loves Australia.
“She did a gap year out here when she was young. She’s always said, ‘Let’s move to Australia’, So when SAS Australia came up, I was like, ‘Let’s see the layout, let’s see how it goes’.
“We’ve sort of made a decision to move out here next year.”
Ant and his wife Emilie are parents to five children – Oakley, Priseis, Bligh, Gabriel and Shyla.
He continued: “I feel like I fit in here.
“That’s very strange being the person that I am. I don’t know whether the UK is a bit pretentious for me, a bit too PC for me, where I can’t be myself.
“I have to suppress a part of me to fit in, which I don’t like doing and I won’t do as you’ve probably seen but here you’ve got that balance that right.”
Discussing what happened for him to lose his job, he said: “Witch hunt? I never thought that existed until the latest shenanigans with SAS UK.
“Ultimately people can see through it and know I was pushed before I could jump.”
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.”
Channel 4 has since said it will never work with him again due to his “personal conduct”.
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?
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.
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Mark Billingham let slip the newbie is a long-time associate of his 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.”