'It was terrifying' SAS: Who Dares Wins' new DS Melvyn Downes on joining Channel 4 show

As Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins returns to screens later this evening, the latest recruit, DS Melvyn Downes, has told of his “exciting” experience which also left him “terrified”. The latest member of Directing Staff previously served in the military for 24-years.

It was an exciting experience but also terrifying as I’ve spent most of my life undercover

DS Melvyn Downes

It’s believed that this will be the toughest and most unforgiving course in the six-year history of SAS: Who Dares Wins, as 21 men and women are put through their paces.

Those brave enough to take on the course will see them be taught how to react to chemical warfare attacks, as well as abseil down a 130ft oil rig into almost freezing cold water.

Chief Instructor Ant Middleton will be joined by Directing Staff, including Foxy and Billy, as well as the latest recruit, Melvyn.

However, there will also be an undercover former Special Forces agent during the first six days of the course.

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'It was terrifying' SAS: Who Dares Wins' new DS Melvyn Downes on joining Channel 4 show

DS Melvyn Downes has revealed he found the ordeal “terrifying” (Image: CHANNEL 4)

sas who dates wins 2021 cast melvyn downes terrifying channel 4 latest news update

He joins Ant Middleton, Foxy and Billy in the latest series (Image: CHANNEL 4)

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Melvyn, who fought in the first Gulf War as well as three tours of Northern Ireland, is used to intense combat but was terrified of the course.

“It was an exciting experience but also terrifying as I’ve spent most of my life undercover,” he said.

The Stoke on Trent native continued: “Once I got over the initial shock of all the cameras, I loved being back in that environment with the fellow DSs, putting the recruits through their paces.

“A couple of the personal stories that the civilians shared with us really hit home for me too, especially as I had similar experiences.”

sas who dates wins 2021 cast melvyn downes terrifying channel 4 latest news update

Melvyn says there are some “dark horses” amongst the recruits (Image: CHANNEL 4)

sas who dates wins 2021 cast melvyn downes terrifying channel 4 latest news update

Recruits will face a terrifying abseil down an oil rig (Image: CHANNEL 4)

sas who dates wins 2021 cast melvyn downes terrifying channel 4 latest news update

Who is the most followed person on Twitter? (Image: EXPRESS)

Melvyn, who spent 12 years serving in the SAS, continued: “When I watched the show during lockdown last year, I remember being really impressed with how authentic it was.

“It gives you a great essence of the Special Forces, especially the types of tasks and missions we’d be asked to complete over the various terrains.”

The war veteran believes that production staff have managed to capture a real-life SAS experience as the show “pushes civilians to both their physical and mental limits”, noting that it is “just like the real thing”.

However, one stark contrast between the programme and life in the SAS is that the programme lasts for six weeks, while SAS training continues over six months.

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Despite no longer being a serving member of the Armed Forces, Melvyn, who says he has “no qualifications”, admits that he “dreamed” of joining the military.

“I’d love to inspire people to go for their dreams, it’s better to try and fail than fail to try,” he said.

Speaking of growing up wanting to join the military, he revealed: “I wanted to join the military since I was three, my mum said I was obsessed with toy soldiers and as I got older I would watch every war movie I could, Platoon’s my favourite.

“I joined the Cadets when I was 11 and signed up to the British Army, with my parents’ permission, when I was 16.”

He added: “I served with distinction for 24 years and received the rank of Warrant Officer, before joining the SAS for 12 years where I quickly rose up the ranks.”

Despite the programme being focused on civilians, Melvyn claims that the contestants are selected if DS’ believe they would be able to count on them during a real mission.

However, while the ones he hoped would make it didn’t, he noted that there are some “dark horses” who left him stunned.

SAS Who Dares Wins airs at 9pm on Channel 4, every Sunday.

Read More: Hollywood News

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