Who is Melvyn Downes? New SAS: Who Dares Wins officer

MELVYN Downes is an Iraq veteran who has signed up to Channel 4's SAS: Who Dares Wins.

Downes is the first mixed-race officer on the show, recruited to replace Ollie Ollerton who departed last year. He is putting recruits through their paces with leaders Jason "Foxy" Fox, Mark "Billy" Billingham MBE and Ant Middleton. Here's everything you need to know about the new star.

Who is Melvyn Downes?

Ex-soldier Melvyn Downes, 55, led operational tours in Iraq and Northern Ireland in the Armed Forces, including 12 years in the SAS, in a career spanning over two decades.

He was raised in a council estate in Stoke and lived in Dubai for the past decade, working in corporate security and for British scouting Overseas.

He insisted that he was not recruited to be the show's newest officer because of Channel 4's diversity drive.

He told the Sun Online: “I know people are going to say it’s all about race, but I don’t see it that way.

“To be a part of this programme you’ve got to be competent to do the job, that’s number one.

“Because 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."

Is Melvyn Downes married and how many children does he have?

Downes describes himself as a "family man" on his social media.

He is married and a father of three.

When is SAS: Who Dares Wins on TV?

SAS: Who Dares Wins 2021 began on TV on Sunday, May 9, at 9pm on Channel 4.

It continues TONIGHT (Sunday, May 30) at 9pm on Channel 4.

The programme is based on elements from real Special Forces Selection and puts civilians through a rigorous selection process testing the candidates mentally and physically.

The Scottish island of Raasay was revealed as the top secret location where the 21 contestants were put through punishing challenges.

The 2020 show was filmed in the Andes Mountains.

The series is the sixth to air on Channel 4.

The show's bosses hit contestants with strict criteria such as no over-44s and recruits must weigh more than 8 stones and be over 5ft 1in.

Recruits must be able to do a minimum of 44 press ups in two minutes, 50 sit ups in the same time frame.

They also must be able to do the “Jerry can test" which consists of carrying two 20kg weights over 120m in two minutes.

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