Who is SAS: Who Dares Wins new DS Melvyn Downes?
SAS: Who Dares Wins as more hopefuls aim to complete a brutal SAS-style selection course.
The Channel 4 show returns on Sunday with 21 new recruits set to take one what the Directing Staff believe to be their toughest, most unforgiving selection course in the six-year history of SAS: Who Dares Wins.
Speaking of Directing Staff, Chief Instructor Ant Middleton and his team Foxy and Billy will be joined by a new DS, Melvyn Downes.
He replaces Ollie Ollerton who departed the programme last year.
Melvyn, 55, served for more than 20 years in the Armed Forces – 12 of which involved carrying out missions for the SAS.
Born and bred in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, Melvyn left school at 16 and joined the army.
In 1991, he led his patrol into combat in the first Gulf war and completed three tours of duty in Northern Ireland, in charge of a platoon of 30 men.
Melvyn joined the elite special forces in 1994 and during his 12 years in the SAS, he led top-secret missions, served behind enemy lines and achieved the prestigious rank of Warrant Officer.
"Believe it or not, I wanted to join the military since I was three," Melvyn said of his experience in the military.
"My mum said I was obsessed with toy soldiers and as I got older I would watch every war movie I could, Platoon's my favourite. I joined the Cadets when I was 11 and signed up to the British Army, with my parents' permission, when I was 16. I served with distinction for 24 years and received the rank of Warrant Officer, before joining the SAS for 12 years where I quickly rose up the ranks.
"I'm proud of my career, and especially to have fought for my country and led missions against war criminals and terrorists around the world."
On why he wanted to join the series, Melvyn added: "I thought it would be a great opportunity to see a different type of character join the show.
"At the end of the day, I'm just a bloke from Stoke with no qualifications, but I had a dream to join the military, whichled to this incredible opportunity. I’d love to inspire people to go for their dreams.
"It's better to try and fail than fail to try."