SAS: Who Dares Wins has revealed the latest member of their fearless squad ahead of the Civilian Series return on Sunday.
Melvyn Downes, 55, who has led operational tours in Iraq and Northern Ireland and served more than two decades in the armed forces, will appear alongside Ant Middleton for the new film series before the latter was ruled out from the Serie.
In March, Ant was ditched by Channel 4 bosses because of his “personal conduct”, with the soldier fiercely denying claims he was fired for making “inappropriate” comments to female staff.
Big comeback: SAS: Who Dares Wins revealed the latest member of their fearless squad ahead of the Civilian Series return on Sunday
Melvyn is the first Métis member of the SAS team, recruited to replace Ollie Ollerton who left the series last year.
He will appear alongside Ant, Jason Fox and Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham on the show, which will see a new group of civilians put to the test when it hits screens this weekend.
Having served over 20 years in the armed forces, Melvyn also spent 12 years in the SAS and is now a Boy Scout Leader, and insisted that his position on the show was not just about fostering “diversity.” by Channel 4.
New Face: Melvyn Downes, 55, who has led operational tours in Iraq and Northern Ireland and served more than two decades in the armed forces, will appear in the new series.
He told The Sun, “I know people are going to say it’s all about race, but I don’t see it that way. To be a part of this program you must be competent to do the job, this is number one.
“Because I spent 24 years in the British Army, rose to a higher rank as a Warrant Officer and led countless SAS operations, I think I first have the necessary experience. to support it. “
Melvyn, a father of three, grew up in a municipal estate in Stoke and for a decade has lived in Dubai, working both for British Scouting Abroad and Corporate Security.
Coming Soon: The Civilian Series was filmed before Ant (pictured) was sacked by Channel 4 bosses for his “personal conduct”
The new series will also feature a surprise twist with one of the management staff hiding among the 21 participating rookies.
This civilian series and the next celebrity version were taped last year before Ant, who is now in Australia to film the show’s version in that country, was banned from the show by Channel 4 bosses. .
A Channel 4 spokesperson told MailOnline at the time: “Ant Middleton will not be appearing in the upcoming SAS series: Who Dares Wins.
“As a result of a number of discussions Channel 4 and Minnow Films have had with him regarding his personal conduct, it has become clear that our views and values are not aligned and that we will no longer be working with him. . “
Ant then “wholeheartedly” denied allegations that he “joked about having sex with a female candidate” after previously fending off allegations that he made inappropriate comments to female staff.
A spokesperson for Ant told MailOnline at the time: “Ant has worked on televisions around the world for many years and has never been accused at any time of speaking inappropriately by anyone. is.
“He was never informed of these allegations, which he wholeheartedly and categorically rejects, via the media.
“If anyone felt like they had said something verbally offensive, we would have expected a formal review process, but no such discussion ever took place, nor through one networks for which he works, nor via organizations such as Bectu. “
Dropped out: A Channel 4 spokesperson told MailOnline at the time: “It has become clear that our views and values are not aligned and we will no longer be working with him. “
This follows a report from The Sun that Ant was overheard telling a contestant that he wanted to have sex with her through his microphone while filming.
A source claimed his comment was meant to be a joke, but still prompted a member of the show’s production crew to complain, as he allegedly said, “I’m going to fuck you after this.” ”
A representative from Channel 4 told the publication that measures are in place to ensure that any staff complaints can be treated confidentially.
Ant also denied allegations of subsequent behavior after it was reported that four women accused him of making “obscene and suggestive comments” on set.
The women contacted media union Bectu, which told the Mirror they were planning to meet Channel 4 after Ant called his behavior a “military joke” during an interview on Good Morning Britain.
It has also been reported that Ant threatened to leave SAS: Who Dares Wins on several occasions and “acted like a Hollywood star on set” before being ultimately sacked.
Show: This comes amid claims Ant plans to ‘make a Jeremy Clarkson’ (pictured in 2019) after exiting the show by returning to TV on a streaming service
A source told The Sun, “Ant loved being the star attraction and seemed to think the show needed him more than it needed – and would act like that on set. He threatened to stop several times.
“It was like some kind of party act, like he was untouchable. He did the same between filming the civilian and celebrity versions, which are filmed back to back. But no one believed his threats of abandonment. No one is bigger than the show. “
After his ax, Ant appeared to take a hit on Channel 4 as he shared a photo of himself with Australian football star Sabrina Frederick, writing on Instagram, “Don’t employ a lion if you want a kitten! “
Ant claims he was kicked off the show due to “head buttings” with the team after saying it had become “more of a reality show.”
He also claimed that Channel 4’s handling of his departure from the show was “reckless and desperate”.
The former soldier said he was preparing to leave the show because the “PC Patrol” had taken over and was no longer genuine.
Answer: Ant recently “wholeheartedly” denied claims he was “joking about having sex with a female candidate” on SAS: Who Dares Wins
In April, it was later claimed that Ant was planning to “do a Jeremy Clarkson” after his release from SAS: Who Dares Wins.
According to The Sunday People, Ant is hoping to return to television via a streaming service and is considering approaching businesses with a web TV format.
A source said: “Ant thinks it’s possible to emulate what Clarkson has done. He thinks there is an audience for another military action hero style show where he can be his authentic self.
Ant was also criticized last year for some of his articles on the coronavirus pandemic, claiming in March that he would go on with his life as usual during the outbreak.
He was reportedly forced to quit his role as the Royal Navy student leader after just nine months, after his controversial tweet about Black Lives Matter protesters.
The TV tough guy, who took on the role in November, has reportedly left his bosses furious after posting the since-deleted tweet, amid protests against racial injustice after George Floyd’s death in the United States.
Response: Adventurer insisted he had “never been at any time” accused of speaking inappropriately, having previously denied making inappropriate comments to female staff
On June 14, Ant tweeted, “The far left versus the far right. When have two wrongs made a right? It was only a matter of time. BLM and EDL are not welcome on our streets, absolute scum. What a great example you are for your future generation. Well done.’
The tweet was in response to a video claiming to be a “BLM / Antifa agitator chasing lone veterans and pack footballers.”
Ant later apologized, posting a video message, saying, “In this tweet I mentioned BLM and EDL and the word ‘scum’. At no time did I call the BLM scum and compare the two organizations. I want this to be really very clear.
“The word scum was used to describe the people in the video who were violent, who spread terror in the streets of London and set a bad example for our future generations. “
Controversy: It arose following a report that Ant was overheard telling a contestant that he wanted to have sex with her while filming, leading to a production member complaining to the bosses