Bradford's Gareth Gates and ex-Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Channel 4's Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins
You’re surrounded by strangers, who become friends and confidants as the ruthless conditions take their toll. And to top it all off, every day you’re facing some of the most physically and mentally brutal challenges of your life. That’s what the contestants taking part in the latest series of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins had to face, all while being instructedn by demanding military training Directing Staff.
Taking part this series are: former Health Secretary Matt Hancock, singers Gareth Gates, from Bradford, Michelle Heaton and Siva Kaneswaran, TV personality Danielle Lloyd, presenter Melinda Messenger and ex-Premier League footballer Jermaine Pennant, who was once a loan player for Leeds United.
Also appearing are former Welsh rugby international Gareth Thomas, reality TV’s James “Arg” Argent, Montana Brown, Teddy Soares and Amber Turner, comedian Zoe Lyons, actor Kirsty-Leigh Porter, GB Olympian Perri Shakes-Drayton, and Paralympic gold medallist Jon-Allan Butterworth MBE.
“I wanted to do it to push my limits, to test my limits,” says Hancock, 44, who also appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here in 2022.
“I’d just come through a pretty tough period being the Health Secretary during the pandemic, so I wanted to test my physical limits.”
There’s a huge team element to the challenge, where the celebrities are held responsible for one another’s shortcomings but also have to lean on each other when times get tough.
However, some challenges saw the contestants pitted against each other: in the first episode, we see the them having to fist fight one another, instructed not to hold back.
Matt Hancock was paired with Jermaine Pennant: “He’s a former England footballer and he’s no softy,” says the politician.
“At the same time, I was relieved that I wasn’t being paired with somebody even bigger. Or a woman. But I thought, this is a bad moment! It didn’t hurt nearly as much as I expected actually, being smacked in the face.”
They also have to face mental conflict. “That was definitely hard for me,” says Gates, 38.
“There were times that my speech was at its worst when, either before a task or after a task, they’d be in your face… really drilling you,” says the Pop Idol star, who has a stammer.
“Obviously, the lack of sleep and food and being tired in every way definitely didn’t help my speech, but them screaming in your face definitely doesn’t help that.”
Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins returns to Channel 4 on Tuesday, September 26 at 9.30pm, and continues every Sunday at 9pm from October 1.