Inside Ant Middleton’s life – Who Dares Wins axe, BLM backlash and next steps

The finale of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins aired earlier this month, alongside chief instructor Ant Middleton's swan song performance.

The 41-year-old British adventurer revealed earlier this year that Channel 4 had made the decision not to renew his contract.

The announcement came a short while after Ant received backlash in regards to controversial social media posts he made about the Black Lives Matter movement and the coronavirus pandemic.

It was later also alleged that he made 'inappropriate comments' to female crew members.

The broadcaster later vowed to never work with Ant again due to his "personal conduct", with Ant firing back in a later interview with Good Morning Britain.

He has since worked in Australia, but what is the truth to his firing?

Social media controversy

Ant first provoked public controversy in June 2020, when he posted a questionable tweet in which he was criticised for comparing the Black Lives Matter movement to the EDL.

Alongside a video of anti-racism protests, Ant wrote: "The extreme left against the extreme right. BLM and EDL are not welcome on our streets, absolute scum.

"What a great example you are to your future generation. Bravo."

The Extreme Everest presenter was further lambasted for seemingly dismissing the seriousness of coronavirus in a video he posted to Instagram.

In the video, which is thought to have conflicted with Channel 4's Stay At Home messaging, Ant said: "Am I still out traveling the world? Yes.

"Am I still shaking hands? Yes. Am I still cuddling fans at the airport? Yes. Am I washing my hands and keeping my hygiene to a high standard as always? Yes.

"Has my life changed? No. Am I going to let some disease, Covid-19, dictate my life? Absolutely not.

"Get out there, don’t change, f*** Covid-19."

Decision

Ant was informed of the decision to let him go on March 1.

In a statement, a Channel 4 spokeswoman said: "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."

Shortly after his firing, Ant appeared on Good Morning Britain where he was asked about emerging reports that 'inappropriate comments' he'd made about female crew members had contributed to his axing.

Inappropriate comments

In response, Ant denied being inappropriate to female crew members and said it was "indirect complaints" which led to the allegations being made.

He also claimed he wanted to leave the show before he was axed and accused Channel 4 of "protecting their brand" by announcing the decision to fire him before he could quit.

His accusers told a different story.

Speaking in response to Ant's GMB appearance, four SAS: Who Dares Wins female staff claimed he had made "lewd and suggestive comments" directly to them on set.

The crew members reported his actions to the TV and media union Bectu.

In a statement to the The Mirror, a Bectu spokesperson said: "Bectu can confirm that a number of women have been in touch with us this week regarding behaviours on the set of SAS Who Dares Wins."

They added: "Despite Ant Middleton's claims about the so-called 'woke brigade', Channel 4 clearly stated this week that the decision to part ways with Mr Middleton was 'solely based on his personal conduct off-camera and is not related to his on-screen persona'.

"This certainly corroborates with what our members have told us."

A spokesperson for Ant responded: "Ant has worked on TV sets around the world for many years and has never at any point been accused of speaking inappropriately by anyone."

Response and future plans

As well as calling Channel 4's statement "desperate" and "reckless" in his GMB interview, Ant also hinted at his future plans.

On moving on from SAS: Who Dares Wins, he said: "There's so many other formats that I am working on now that feel more suited to who I am today.

"It's been a brilliant experience being on that show but I'm honestly happy to let some new blood come in and put their own stamp on it."

He recently wrapped filming on SAS Australia.

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