There is something alluringly perverse about sitting watching, glass of wine in hand, the travails of 25 men who have willingly submitted themselves to one of the most rigorous military training regimes on the planet.
After a hugely popular first run, SAS: Who Dares Wins takes its gruelling selection process to the Ecuadorian jungle to test the mettle of this year’s crop of recruits.
Each of the participants has something to prove, whether that be self-worth, aspiration towards leadership or just for the sake of completing the plain old physical challenge. Unfortunately, for those coming into this thinking it is all about the latter, selection will introduce them to psychological challenges as demanding as any hardship their bodies are asked to endure.
Master of beastings and chief instructor, Ant Middleton explains the change of scenery and the unique challenge the jungle poses: “The hills phase is the first phase of selection; it’s just the ticket to a jungle. Now you need to prove that you can deal with the harshest environment in the world; that you can operate in it. This phase is all psychological. It’s designed to bring out certain characteristics and certain attributes that you don’t know exist within yourself but you will find out once you’re on selection. You’re not designed to conquer the jungle, all you can predict is that you’ve got two feet and you can put one foot in front of the other.”
It is said everyone, at some point, will have their 15 minutes of fame, I’m thankful mine will not be on a show like this, but I will be back next week to revel in the self-inflicted suffering of those who have bitten off more than they can chew.
SAS: Who Dares Wins is on Channel4 Mondays at 9pm