The fourth series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins began last Sunday on Channel 4. A group of 14 celebrities began their attempts to pass SAS selection in the unforgiving and epic terrain of the Jordanian desert.
In Episode 1, the theme was Discipline. The episode opened in Wadi Rum, Jordan. The celebrities were hooded and forced to kneel on the ground to await the arrival of the Directing Staff (DS). Former special forces soldiers Foxy and Billy arrived by helicopter and inspected each celebrity one by one.
They were then all airlifted close to their base camp where they had to crawl and crawl to meet the other DS chief instructor, Rudy Reyes, a former US Special Forces operator and Remi Adeleke, a former US Navy SEAL . Here they had to dress in full combat gear and then run to a rendezvous point while carrying their heavy bergens. It also involved climbing a 200 meter scree slope in 40 degree heat.
Once at base, they were given a stern briefing by the DS team. This included an explanation of the rules before they were each given a numbered armband. After briefly getting to see their barracks, the celebrities were called outside for a beating. Rémi was not happy with the way some celebrities were fidgeting during the briefing. Bastarding involved being submerged in water before rolling in the sand.
The first task saw the celebrities being exposed to CS gas. One at a time, they had to enter a compound filled with CS gas, remove their gas masks, answer questions, and then find another way out. All of the celebrities found the task daunting, but some had it much harder than others. Number 11 Shannon Courtenay totally freaked out and missed the task while number 5 Fatima Whitbread impressed.
Back at base, the DS held a meeting to discuss the recruits. They decided to bring in number 11, Fatima, for questioning. Billy and Foxy explained that she was fine and asked about her past. She recounted being abandoned as a baby and how she fell in love with the sport after being adopted when she was 14.
As the celebrities settled in for bed, the DS called them to the parade square for a water bottle inspection. Three celebrities had failed to keep their bottles filled, leading to another beating for everyone. It started with 20 push-ups followed by laps of the parade ground with a partner, spot runs and monkey bars. Number 7, Amber Gill really struggled with the physicality of the task.
The next morning, Rudy expressed his disappointment with what he had seen so far. The next task started after a 2km run in the desert heat while carrying their bergens. The task was Milling – 1v1 fight. The DS picked pairs who then had to hit each other until told to stop. Number 7, Amber took on number 5, Fatima and both impressed.
Number 3, Calum Best was pitted against number 11, Shannon. He did as he was told, but she refused to fight back and failed. Number 1, Jennifer Ellison, was paired with number 2, Pete Wicks. He was upset about fighting a woman and felt really bad when he punched her in the back of the head.
Back at base, the DS held another meeting and decided to speak to Number 2, Pete. They brought him in and he explained that he didn’t like to talk about himself. He said he struggled to relate to people and spent most of his time single. He explained how he acquired a party image and smoked and drank heavily. The class had already made him realize how much he had abused his body and that he wanted to change. He listened to the advice given by Billy and Remi.
In episode 2, after a brutal first step, the 14 famous recruits face a series of confidence exercises. Trust is the most vital element in the special forces, where hesitation costs lives.
Recruits must jump out of a helicopter in pairs before working together to land. When some party members lose their gear and fail to keep their gear dry, they all have to take a punishment.
Then they take the life of a teammate into their hands as one of them plummets off a 150ft cliff, being prevented from crashing to the ground by their partner. Will actress Jennifer Ellison and reality TV star Ferne McCann overcome their trust issues and doubts to complete this phase of the course?
Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins 2022 continues at 9pm Sunday September 11 on Channel 4. Episode preview with our gallery: