There will be no special treatment or exceptions for this group of celebrities as they are pushed to their mental and physical limits through a series of grueling tasks and relentless interrogations. These brave individuals will endure the punishing jungle phase of SAS selection, one of the most challenging environments faced by Special Forces operatives. Among the notable participants are former Health Secretary Matt Hancock (44), singers Gareth Gates (38), Michelle Heaton (43), and Siva Kaneswaran (34), TV personality Danielle Lloyd (39), TV presenter Melinda Messenger (51), ex-Premier League footballer Jermaine Pennant (40), ex-Welsh rugby international Gareth Thomas (48), reality TV stars James "Arg" Argent (35), Montana Brown (27), Teddy Soares (28), and Amber Turner (29), comedian Zoe Lyons (51), actor Kirsty-Leigh Porter (34), Great British Olympian Perri Shakes-Drayton (34), and Paralympic gold medallist Jon-Allan Butterworth MBE.
As the series unfolds, viewers will discover which celebrity recruits have what it takes to complete this unique SAS selection course. There will be no preferential treatment for any of the participants, as they confront unexpected truths about themselves in their quest to find their true selves. The elite team of ex-Special Forces operators, including Chief Instructor Billy Billingham MBE and his Directing Staff (DS) Foxy (Jason Fox), Rudy Reyes, and Chris Oliver, do not consider the recruits' fame, social media followers, or prior accomplishments. The moment they enter the selection process, their celebrity status and luxuries are stripped away, and they face the same rigorous challenges as any other SAS candidate.
Matt Hancock: "Being on SAS was like nothing else I've ever experienced. It's one of the toughest physical and mental things I've ever done. It really opens your eyes and makes you look into yourself. After coming through the most challenging period as Health Secretary during the pandemic, I wanted to push my limits. It's safe to say the course tested my resilience!"
Gareth Gates: "WOW, this was an experience like no other. I learnt very quickly that there is a difference between being gym fit and battle fit. I was so looking forward to doing this show, to test myself, to see what courage, grit and determination I really had. I would encourage anyone who wants one of the ultimate, physical and mental challenges to give this a go. It was an amazing, brutal, unique experience!"
Danielle Lloyd: "This experience was just life changing. It's made me positive and ready to take on the world."
Jermaine Pennant: "I wanted to push myself to my limits, but you underestimate how brutal it actually is until your body's going through it!"
Jon-Allan Butterworth: "My military career was cut short, so I wanted to see whether I have what it takes to survive in a world the DS think is normal."
Melinda Messenger: "It was incredible, the most intensely physically challenging thing I've done. I would say it was surreal, but I'd also say it was way harder than it looks on TV!"
Michelle Heaton: "I loved being on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins because it put me in situations that I would never put myself in normally. It got me to think outside the box. It got me uncomfortable. It's only then you learn where your real limits are."
Siva Kaneswaran: "If you dig being tortured for a few days and being dragged out your comfort zone, then this is the show for you! In a weird way, it was very fulfilling in the sense that you face your fears and you come out of it a new person, a new improved person."
Teddy Soares: "The whole experience was overwhelming, but for me, it was one of the experiences that I will never, ever be able to live down."
Gareth Thomas: "There's not many experiences that allow you the opportunity to look inside yourself and see what you're truly made of. I just knew I had to say yes to this so I could work out who I really am, and it totally lived up to my expectations."
Perri Shakes Drayton: "It was an incredible experience from start to finish. There are so many words I can use to describe it. I loved every minute of it."
James "Arg" Argent: "It's the type of show that pushes you to breaking point and it's something I'll never forget. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity."
Zoe Lyons: "It was the worst 'all-inclusive break' I've ever been on. There's a bit of me that feels incredibly fortunate that I got to participate in the show because it does test you, and there's quite a bit of fun to be had if you don't mind losing a few toenails!"
Amber Turner: "Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins It was the Hardest thing I've ever done in my life, the most physically & emotionally demanding experience I've ever but the best experience all in one. I loved every moment of it (except having that bag over my head) and wouldn't think twice about doing it again!"
Kirsty-Leigh Porter: "Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins was absolutely brutal but the most AMAZING experience and dare I say it, one I wish I could do again!! And the DS are actual real-life superheroes – the strength they hold is unnatural. They are absolutely amazing!"
Montana Brown: "You don't get the opportunity to do something this hard in life so I couldn't say no. This was the hardest challenge I've ever experienced but I proved to myself that I'm actually quite tough and I can do anything I put my mind to."
No allowances or exceptions will be made for this group of celebrities. Talking about this year's celebrity recruits, the DS commented:
Chief Instructor, Billy: "SAS selection course follows the ethos of the regiment. Self-motivation, self-discipline. pursuit of excellence and the will to never give up. Our recruits will be pushed emotionally, physically and mentally beyond anything they have ever experienced. The standards will never drop but most of the recruits will!!! No concessions, No excuses !! Only results …"
Foxy: "To get through Special Forces selection, you need to be someone who is self-sufficient, robust and resilient. If the celebrities turn up with the wrong attitude thinking it's a fun boot camp, then we have no choice but to keep the pressure on until they stop acting like it's a holiday. This course is like an awakening for celebrities…"
Rudy: "Special Operations require unique human beings. Warriors who are not defined by status or background but by grit and merit. Every recruit, no matter how rich, talented or famous, will be tested in the most extreme of ways and only the truly strong will remain. Strong in mind, body and spirit."
Chris: "If these celebrities think we'll be going easy on them, they can think again. The jungle is relentless and the environment is out to get you. If we don't break them, the hot, humid temperatures and the insects will! The reason we use the jungle for Special Forces Selection is because it's horrendous. Our celebrity recruits will have to show extreme resilience and embrace their surrounding if they are to be successful."
Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins is a Minnow Films production for Channel 4. The Executive Producers for series five are Liam Humphreys, Ricky Keleher and Richard Cooke, the Series Producer is Freddie Foss-Smith and Channel 4's Commissioning Editor for Science and Adventure is Jonah Weston.