Former soldier Ant Middleton has fought back over Channel 4’s claims it had severed ties with him over his “personal conduct”.
The broadcaster had said in a statement this week that it will not work with Middleton again because “our views and values are not aligned”.
But the star of SAS: Who Dares Wins said he had already decided to quit the programme because it had become a “reality show”.
He told Good Morning Britain: “It’s all smoke and mirrors.
“From the last episode of SAS: Who Dares Wins, when I filmed the last episode, it became a half-scripted sort of reality show.
“Full control was taken… for health and safety.
“And after that show, I said ‘I’m not going to film any more, I’m done with SAS: Who Dares Wins’.”
SAS: Who Dares Wins sees civilians put through military training exercises to test their physical and mental strength, with Middleton the chief instructor since it launched in 2015.
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It also has a celebrity spin-off which has seen stars including Joey Essex, Katie Price, Anthea Turner, John Fashanu and Wayne Bridge taking part.
Middleton said: “Over the years, PC patrol have kicked in, the woke patrol have kicked in, to the point where we can’t say anything, we can’t be ourselves.
“And it’s been so controlled and so managed and so inauthentic now that I’ve decided to walk away from it.”
He added: “This isn’t Dancing On Ice. This isn’t a Celebrity Big Brother, even though it’s turned into that… It’s a reality show now.”
Middleton said: “I wanted to part in a healthy way and in a positive way. And they knew that I was going.
“And all of a sudden they dropped this bomb… (that) I’ve been axed. And ultimately what they’re doing is they’re protecting their brand.”
Stay positive 💪💪
— Ant Middleton (@antmiddleton) March 1, 2021
In June, the former special forces soldier apologised for referring to Black Lives Matter protesters as “absolute scum” while complaining about the “extreme left” and “extreme right” taking to the streets.
Middleton said he was “anti-racist and anti-violence” after deleting the tweet.
He also had to apologise for urging people to “carry on as normal”, despite government restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19.
He told his social media followers to not “be a sheep” and said he did not believe government advice to self-isolate applied to him because he is “strong and able”.
The star, who has more than 300,000 followers on Twitter and more than 1 million on Instagram, said he had been “a bit insensitive towards the magnitude, the scale, of the crisis that’s happening in the UK”.
A Channel 4 spokesman said: “Our decision not to renew Ant Middleton’s contract and not to work with him again was solely based on his personal conduct off camera and is not related to his on-screen persona.
“SAS: Who Dares Wins will continue to be as tough as it’s ever been.”
Source : Sky News