Former soldier Melvyn Downes says he can’t wait for SAS: Who Dares Wins fans to see him in action on the show as he hopes to pull in a bigger audience than the show has had before.
The 55-year-old served for more than 20 years in the Armed Forces – 12 of which involved carrying out missions for the SAS.
Melvyn says he will be bringing his decades of experience to put recruits through their paces on the Channel 4 show – and he will be representing people of colour and the working class in the process.
The military expert is joining the show as one of the Directing Staff team and will be barking out the orders alongside Jason Fox, Ant Middleton and Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham on the upcoming new series – which filmed in Scotland before Ant was sacked by Channel 4 for alleged inappropriate conduct.
Speaking about his inclusion on the show, Melvyn – who was raised on a council estate in Stoke – says he is not concerned what people think about his casting in the series, being added to the team after Ollie Ollerton was axed from the line-up.
He told The Sun: “I know people are going to say it’s all about race, but I don’t see it that way.
“I had 24 years in the British military, got to senior rank as a Warrant Officer and led countless SAS operations, I think I have got the necessary experience first of all to back it up.”
He added: “Being the first mixed-race DS is going to be a great opportunity as I can represent the under-represented in life — not just minorities, I’m talking about people from deprived, working-class backgrounds.”
SAS: Who Dares Wins’s latest seasons were filmed on the Scottish island of Raasay.
Both a civilian and celebrity version of the hit series have completed filming – and both will feature Ant Middleton as work on the shows were completed before he was fired from Channel 4.
The 40-year-old was sacked by the channel in March amid allegations of “inappropriate comments” towards female crew.
A Channel 4 Spokesman told Mirror in March: “Our decision not to renew Ant Middleton’s contract and not to work with him again was solely based on his personal conduct off-camera and is not related to his on-screen persona as a DS.
“SAS: Who Dares Wins will continue to be as tough as it’s ever been.”