Special forces hero Ant Middleton reveals ‘I’m not scared of anything apart from being clean shaven’ at Haven House fundraiser

PUBLISHED: 13:07 28 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:07 28 February 2017

Ant Middleton from SAS: Who Dares Wins

Ant Middleton from SAS: Who Dares Wins

Haven house

With deadly combat skills and an aura oozing masculinity Ant Middleton is a dangerous combination to behold (and that is just from Google images).

Ant Middleton and Reporter Ellena Cruse. Picture: Catherine Davison Ant Middleton and Reporter Ellena Cruse. Picture: Catherine Davison

But when I meet him in real life, ahead of the Ask Ant fundraising night for Haven’s House Children’s Hospice, the special forces hero showed another side to his character.

Extremely confident, the former Special Boat Service (SBS) commando revealed that beneath the TV tough guy image there was a deeply compassionate side to him.

“I have a soft spot for children,” he said, explaining why he was taking part in the fundraising effort, which rustled up nearly £7,000 for charity based in High Road, Woodford Green.

“They are the future and adults have a responsibility to nurture them. I do a lot with the cadets, it gives them discipline and they will know a couple of years in if they want to join or not.”

Ant Middleton in front of a Lexus, Lexus Woodford sponsored the Ask Ant event. Picture: Catherine Davison Ant Middleton in front of a Lexus, Lexus Woodford sponsored the Ask Ant event. Picture: Catherine Davison

Ant joined the Royal Engineers at the age of 16, and then served with the Royal Marines before passing the SBS’ selection test. He shot to fame as the instructor on Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, and is now spearheading its new show Mutiny.

And Ant told the Recorder that if any youngsters in the borough are planning to apply to the SAS they will have to be versatile.

“You need to be a chameleon and adapt to any situation,” he added.

“You have got to be able to blend into your surroundings.

Ant Middleton and Reporter Ellena Cruse. Picture: Catherine Davison Ant Middleton and Reporter Ellena Cruse. Picture: Catherine Davison

“You also need social skills – we are not just people that run around with guns, we operate behind enemy lines.”

Ant’s journey has taken him off grid in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and carrying out security detailing in South Africa, said that if “you are up for the challenge” it is a good career.

“One of the reasons I joined the special forces was because you could do what you wanted – I grew a beard and have had one for five years,” he said. “I am not scared of anything, but I had a dream I was clean shaven and that was quite frightening”.

Although there is an element of autonomy to being part of the most formidable force in the country, it does not come without sacrifice.

A women asking a question during the 'Ask Ant' part of the show. Picture: Catherine Davison A women asking a question during the 'Ask Ant' part of the show. Picture: Catherine Davison

“Resistance to integration was the hardest part,” he said, not giving away any mission ops as he was bound by the Official Secrets Act.

“I wanted to be tested and stripped down to my bare essentials. The mind games and stress positions are physically and mentally draining – it is hard to keep control of your own mind.

Although Ant “never doubted” he would pass selection, he said the fear of failing was always there but he knew he wouldn’t give up.

“People are fed up with the restraints of society and the health and safety bubble –they want to feel alive,” he added, explaining why candidates put themselves through the selection experience.

“I enjoy combat side and going into the combat zone, that’s what I miss the most. It’s that adrenaline, when you are close to losing your life you feel alive, I always need to be doing something that is challenging and risky”.

Ant was questioned by Time 107.5FM presenter Jessie Brooke and 170 audience members at Sir James Hawkey Hall, Woodford Green, and also posed for selfies with fans to raise money for Haven House.

Scott Roberts, PR and celebrity manager at Haven House, said the event “exceeded expectations”

“He was so generous in making sure all of our guests had the opportunity to have a selfie with him and it was incredible to see people attending from as far as Bristol, Southampton and Leicestershire.

“We like to thank our sponsor, Lexus Woodford, along with all of the companies who generously donated prizes for our auction and raffle.”

Haven House next fundrasing event is a star-studded comedy night at the Union Chapel in Islington on April 18. To buy tickets please visit

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00

Havering had the highest number of cases in London of a chronic lung disease which has been associated with air pollution in the last year, new figures reveal.

Yesterday, 12:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Yesterday, 10:00

A look back at the biggest local stories from this day 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

Yesterday, 08:00

The London Borough of Havering have for decades paid more for our services than inner London areas who have received much larger grants from central government, compared to outer London areas.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The creation of the National Health Service in 1948 was not universally welcomed, as Prof Ged Martin discovered

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Friday, January 19, 2018

A musical variety group that spent more than 50 years performing in hospitals and care homes, still meets up to reminisce about the days of musical festivities and fundraising.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Police in Hertfordshire are appealing to members of the public in Havering for help in tracking down a wanted man they believe is in the Romford area.


Window and conservatory specialist Ken Rhodes talks about the possibilities for brightening up your home for the new year, and with their home improvement finance deals it’s possible for everyone to make some changes

Lisa and Jennie are cousins who grew up in the borough. Their grandmother, ‘Nanny Fish’ was a huge part of their lives, and while she had dementia and increasing needs, she really benefited from having care in her nephew’s loving home. This experience was the inspiration for Lisa and Jennie to set-up their own home care service.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now