- Channel 4 has dropped popular TV host Ant Middleton who served in the British special forces.
- Middleton sparked backlash over comments about BLM and the coronavirus pandemic.
- Channel 4 said Middleton did not align with its views and values.
British broadcaster Channel 4 has said that it will no longer work with Ant Middleton, the star of “SAS: Who Dares Wins,” due to his “personal conduct” following comments he made about the Black Lives Matter movement and the coronavirus pandemic.
Middleton – a British special forces veteran who completed three tours of Afghanistan – has been the host of “SAS: Who Dares Wins” since 2015. The hugely popular British show sees civilian contestants taking part in grueling military training exercises to test their physical and mental strength.
In June, in a now-deleted tweet seen by Deadline, Middleton wrote: “BLM and EDL [English Defense League] are not welcome on our streets, absolute scum. What a great example you are to your future generation. Bravo.” The EDL is a far-right Islamophobic organisation in the UK.
In a statement, Channel 4 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.”
Middleton posted an apology video following his BLM comments where he said he was not referring to the wider movement for racial equality but was instead attacking radical politics. He said he is “anti-racist and anti-violence” after deleting the comments.
Months later, Middleton made a second controversial post. In a now-deleted Instagram video, he said he would be continuing to live his life as normal, ignoring safety guidelines and urged his fans to do the same.
“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,” he said in the post.
“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!”
In a new post following Channel 4’s announcement, Middleton said he had decided “it’s time to move on” from the show.
He said: “Big respect to my fellow DS [Directing Staff] – it’s been a journey I’ll never forget. Thanks to everyone that took part and made the show what it is. Really excited about the future and what’s coming this year. Stay positive.”
Middleton joined the Army aged 17 and became a Royal Marine (the UK equivalent of Navy SEALs) in 2005 before serving as a sniper in the Special Boat Service. He is also the host of “Straight Talking” an adventure show that also features Rebel Wilson. The pair travel to remote natural locations such as the Mexican desert where they interview each other about their life experiences.
Read the original article on Insider
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