Why did Ant Middleton leave Who Dares Wins?

The familiar host is no longer involved with the Channel 4 show

Ant Middleton on the red carpet at the National Television Awards
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins has returned to Channel 4, but without it's chief instructor. So, why did Ant Middleton leave the show?

The military training show is now underway, with viewers keen to know who’s on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins 2022 (opens in new tab) and where Celebrity SAS is filmed (opens in new tab). While most of the format is similar to previous series - with contestants undergoing gruelling training mirroring that undertaken by real special forces recruits - there's one familiar face missing.

Chief instructor Ant Middleton (opens in new tab) was with the show when it first aired, back in 2015, but he's no longer involved in the show. The ex-Royal Marine's absence was first noted in series seven - broadcast in spring 2022 - and now he's missing from the celebrity version too, leaving many viewers asking why did Ant Middleton leave Who Dares Wins?

Why did Ant Middleton leave Who Dares Wins?

Ant Middleton was axed from SAS: Who Dares Wins in 2020 because of comments he made on social media. Channel 4 confirmed he would not be returning to the show after "a number of discussions" with Ant "in relation to his personal conduct".

However, Middleton did appear in season 3 of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins following being dropped from the show, because filming had been completed before the decision was made. He went on to accuse the show of being "hypocritical and shameful" for "cashing in" on him.

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In a now deleted Instagram post, he wrote "Funny how the UK cancel culture ‘supposedly’ sacked me but they’re still willing to make money from my profile, my brand, my name, my work and my show!...Laughable, hypocritical and shameful but business is business and that’s exactly what it is… just business baby!"

Why was Ant Middleton dropped?

Ant Middleton was dropped from Channel 4 because of several controversial social media posts, one of which seemingly criticised the Black Lives Matter movement and/or far-right groups.

The since-deleted tweet referred to a clash between members of the BLM movement and far-right protestors that happened in London - with Middleton branding both groups as "scum" (opens in new tab)

After severe backlash, Middleton posted an apology (opens in new tab), saying, "Within that tweet I mentioned the BLM and EDL and the word “scum”. At no point was I calling the BLM scum and comparing the two organisations. I want to make that really, really clear.

"The word scum was used to describe the people in the video that were violent, that were causing terror on the streets of London and setting a bad example for our future generations."

He also came under fire for a posting a video telling fans to "get out there" during the coronavirus pandemic.

A Channel 4 statement at the time of his sacking said: "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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Who has replaced Ant Middleton?

US veteran Rudy Reyes has taken over the role of chief instructor on SAS: Who Dares Wins, and is joined by US Navy SEAL Remi Adeleke. Other instructors on the show include Mark "Billy" Billingham and Jason "Foxy" Fox.

Reyes is from a military family and was born on an air force base, and joined the Marin Corps in 1998, going on to serve in Afghanistan and Iraq. Adeleke was born in western Africa before relocating to the Bronx in New York City. He first joined the Navy in 2002.

Speaking to Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary on This Morning (opens in new tab), Billingham said of the newcomers, "They’re typical Americans, just full of energy. Especially Rudy. You could run a generator off his energy, he’s brilliant. You’re going to love him, he’s got a lot of experience, brings a lot to the table and he wears his heart on his sleeve."

Where is Ant Middleton now?

Ant Middleton is now the chief instructor of the Australian version of SAS: Who Dares Wins.

Speaking on The James Smith Podcast (opens in new tab), Middleton said about the move "I’ve got a great connection with Australia. My wife also loves Australia.

"She did a gap year out here when she was young. She’s always said, ‘Let’s move to Australia’, So when SAS Australia came up, I was like, ‘Let’s see the layout, let’s see how it goes.’"

The Australian version of the show first aired in 2020 with Middleton at the helm, and now has three seasons. For the first two seasons, he was joined by UK directing staff Jason Fox and Mark Billingham.

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Ant Middleton: Net worth

According to The Sun (opens in new tab), Ant Middleton's net worth is around £4million, and the star made his first million in 2018.

Middleton has made his money through both his TV work and his books. Other shows he's starred in include: Channel 4's Mutiny, which saw him spend two months at sea; Escape, in which in which contestants had to flee a staged plane crash; and he also climbed Mount Everest as part of a Channel 4 documentary.

His books First Man In (opens in new tab), The Fear Bubble (opens in new tab), Zero Negativity (opens in new tab), and Mental Fitness (opens in new tab) were all Sunday Times bestsellers, and his fiction book, Cold Justice (opens in new tab), was voted No.1 Debut Thriller 2021.

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