TELLY tough guy Ant Middleton threatened to quit SAS: Who Dares Wins three times, show insiders claim.
Ant’s numerous threats that he was going to walk away from the Channel 4 series became his “party act”, the show insider tells The Sun Online.
Earlier this week, Ant told The Sun: “I have decided to walk away from it, it is clear Channel 4 and I have fallen out over it and that is regretful. I have butted heads with some of the team but ultimately it is out of a passion for what I wanted to do and that’s make the best show possible.”
A source claims: “Ant loved to be the star attraction and seemed to think the show needed him more than he needed it – and would act like that on set.
“He threatened to quit on several occasions. It felt like some sort of party act, like he was untouchable.
“He did the same again in between filming the civilian and celebrity versions, which are filmed back-to-back.
“But no one believed his quit threats. No one is bigger than the show.”
SAS: Who Dares Wins fans were left stunned on Monday night when Channel 4 announced they had dropped Ant from the show .
In a statement, bosses 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.”
It is believed they are referencing a series of controversial tweets Ant posted during the Black Lives Matter protests last year.
Ant has since hit out, calling Channel 4 “desperate and reckless ” during an interview on Good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.
The ex Special Forces sniper, 40, called the announcement “smoke and mirrors”, saying he’d already told show bosses he wasn’t coming back because the factual entertainment series had become too “inauthentic”.
He said: “Channel 4’s statement is very reckless and desperate, I have filmed two more series of SAS since the Black Lives Matter tweets – it’s all smoke and mirrors.
“Since the last episode of SAS: Who Dares Wins it became a half-scripted reality show; full control was taken from me and after that show I said I am not going to film any more, I wanted to part in a positive way and they knew I was going.
“All of a sudden they drop this bomb about me being axed and ultimately what they are doing is protecting their brand – they knew I was going, they got in before me.”
Ant, meanwhile, has also told The Sun he feels the series – which is based on the brutal SAS selection process – has become too much of a “reality show “.
“I think that ultimately what has happened is that the people that make the show and I have very different opinions on where the show started and where it is going in the future.
“When I started making the show and as I was involved from the beginning, it was very simple and at its core it was to show what Special Forces’ selection was.
“And I am sad to say that in recent years the producers of the show have drifted from this and it has become more of a reality show than I feel comfortable with.”
But the insider has claimed, that despite his feelings about it becoming a “reality show”, Ant would “hog the camera and make it more Hollywood”.
“Ant’s been moaning about SAS becoming more like a reality show, but he’s the one that’s made it more over the top with his antics,” the source claimed.
“He’s created this Hollywood meets Big Brother sort of show with his personality, he has to be the centre of attention.
“He loved being the chief instructor and it was clear there was a pecking order, he would want the camera on him.
“But the reality is that Ant is working with guys who’ve had just as long as him in the Special Forces, some many years longer, they’re just as qualified as he is, if not more.”
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The insider went on to claim: “While there’s no dispute that Ant knows what he’s talking about, others have also been there and done that. It’s like he felt threatened by their experience.
“As soon as Ant talks to camera, then some are scratching their heads as to why he’s making soldier life more like a movie than reality.”
The Sun Online has contacted Ant’s rep and C4 for comment.
Ant Middleton slams ‘desperate’ Channel 4 after SAS: Who Dares Wins axe and says ‘inappropriate comments’ were ‘banter’