ANT Middleton WILL return to SAS: Who Dares Wins Australia – despite being sacked from the UK show.
Yesterday, Channel 4 sensationally announced that they’d axed the former Special Forces soldier from the show due to his “personal conduct” – and vowed to never work with him again.
But Australia’s Channel Seven do not hold the same view, and have confirmed that they will welcome him back as chief instructor for their version of the programme.
A spokesperson said in a brief statement: “Ant Middleton and his fellow DS [Directing Staff], Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham, Jason Fox and Ollie Ollerton, will all be returning for the second season of ‘SAS Australia’ which is currently in pre-production.”
Ant, 40, launched the hit series on Channel 4 back in 2015, but he has left the broadcaster after a series of high profile controversies.
The star was only informed of the sudden decision yesterday – just weeks before the planned start date for the latest series.
A Channel 4 spokesperson 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.”
Responding to the news, Ant vowed to make a TV comeback as he tweeted: “After five years on the show it just felt like I had achieved everything I could with the format.
“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.”
Veteran Ant resigned from his role as the Royal Navy’s Chief Cadet this summer, after bosses were left unhappy over his now-deleted tweet about Black Lives Matter protests.
A TV insider said producers realised what a great asset Ant was to the show but felt he had made one mistake too many.
Filming has already completed on the sixth UK series of SAS: Who Dares Wins which will feature the former SBS star.
Ant will also star in a celebrity special this autumn – but he will not be invited to return in 2022.
In addition to the BLM scandal, Ant hit headlines in March 2020 when he posted a “tough-love” video message on social media urging his followers to carry on as normal despite coronavirus.
As the world rapidly went into lockdown, he faced a backlash and posted an apology.
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There was more social media backlash in June after Ant posted a video of violence at anti-racism protests in London.
He tweeted: “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.”
However, he later defended himself, telling The Sun: “If you have half a brain cell you will realise what I was talking about.
“It was the protesters fighting and violence and rioting in broad daylight. Everything I fought for abroad to stop happening on our shores.”