Ant Middleton slams 'desperate' Channel 4 after SAS: Who Dares Wins axe and says 'inappropriate comments' were 'banter'
ANT Middleton slammed "desperate and reckless" Channel 4 after his SAS: Who Dares Wins axe – and insisted the "inappropriate comments" were just "banter".
The 40-year-old star appeared live on Good Morning Britain today to have his say on the broadcaster's shock statement.
Speaking to hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, the ex Special Forces soldier called the announcement "smoke and mirrors" as he revealed he'd already told show bosses he wasn't coming back because the factual entertainment series had become too "inauthentic".
He said: "Channel 4's statement is very reckless and desperate, I have filmed two more series of SAS since the Black Lives Matter tweets – it's all smoke and mirrors.
"Since the last episode of SAS: Who Dares Wins it became a half-scripted reality show; full control was taken from me and after that show I said I am not going to film any more, I wanted to part in a positive way and they knew I was going.
"All of a sudden they drop this bomb about me being axed and ultimately what they are doing is protecting their brand – they knew I was going, they got in before me."
When quizzed on today's claims that Ant had received complaints of making "inappropriate comments" to female staff members, the star replied: "You're on SAS: Who Dares Wins, you say inappropriate things and we do inappropriate things.
"If you get offended by them then so be it, this is a hardcore course – it's never direct.
"They have obviously seen a bit of military banter or military humour, they've seen us talking about a recruit or a production member in the dorm or something."
Ant went on to add that when the show first launched he and the other instructors asked Channel 4 to "protect" them from what happens in their DS Dorm – but the "PC Patrol" have ruined that respite.
He explained: "Our humour, our composure is different and it allowed us to be us and be true to the military ethos.
"But over the years the PC Patrol have kicked in, the Woke Patrol have kicked in, to the point where we can't say anything and we can't be ourselves – we can't even act on the ground without health and safety taking over."
Ant also admitted that he has "butt heads" with production and Channel 4 over the last "two or three series" because he'd had control taken away.
He also confessed that he hadn't "been easy to work with" because he wasn't happy with the direction that the show was going in, comparing it to reality shows like Celebrity Big Brother instead of factual entertainment.
Ant added that the first he heard about Channel 4's statement was through the media the night before.
A Channel 4 spokesperson said earlier this week: "Ant Middleton will not be taking part in future series of SAS: Who Dares Wins.
"Following a number of discussions Channel 4 and Minnow Films have had with him in relation to his personal conduct it has become clear that our views and values are not aligned and we will not be working with him again."
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