SAS: Who Dares Wins star Jason Fox recalls almost dying on show as he says his ‘life flashed before his eyes’ | The Sun03/13/2023
SAS: Who Dares Wins is the toughest show on telly – pushing contestants to breaking point as they vie to prove they have what it takes to be part of the special forces.
But the show's directing staff – tough ex forces heroes – aren't immune to its dangers either, risking life and limb to show the military wannabes how it's done.
In an exclusive interview, show star Jason Fox, 46, recalled his scariest moment on Who Dares Wins during which his "life flashed before his eyes".
Foxy, as he's affectionately known to fans, explained: "One of the bits I genuinely think my life flashed before my tiny mind was in Ecuador on season two.
"We were trying to demonstrate a river crossing on quite a treacherous stretch of river in the Amazonian rain forest, and I ended up getting dragged below the surface and had a bit of a moment trying to get back up. I was flailing around under water in the washing machine being held down. I managed to get through it, but I remember panicking a little bit."
Whether it's plunging into a cold loch from a helicopter, abseiling down sheer cliff faces or crossing the narrowest of bridges high above the ground, the show takes the welfare of its contestants very seriously.
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Jason says: "Health and safety is very robust, we have a good relationship with the team that work on the show as well, so we're always looking at how to push the boundaries but make sure that it's safe.
"People do pick up injuries. It's a by product. The people that injure themselves are normally the people that are putting out the most. They're giving it their all. They've got something to prove to themselves or someone else, and that's why they're pushing themselves to their limits.
"Some of the scarier tasks are actually the safest because they've got to have a robust backup plan and safety procedures in place for it to actually go ahead. We do push the boundaries, we just do it in a safe way."
Over the past four years, a whole raft of TV and radio presenters, retired sportspeople, reality stars, dancers and singers have taken part in the show.
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While the perfect candidate doesn't really exist, there are profiles that tend to do better than others.
"Pro dancers are impressive," says Foxy. "They're so disciplined and fit. They put them through some punishment. People will be like 'oh yeah, whatever.' But they've always sort of impressed.
"Sports personalities, people that have been renowned for digging deep and having an engine on them – footballers, rugby players. There's always the sort of obvious ones, but every now and then you'll have a reality TV star come out of nowhere. They all deserve to be there."
For the DS, there can sometimes be little to distinguish the celebs from their counterparts on the regular show.
Big name sports star are often familiar to Jason and his fellow DS – Billy Billingham, Rudy Reyes and Chris Oliver – but those from a reality background usually aren't.
For Jason, that lack of prior knowledge can be a plus as it stops him from judging them based on their public profile.
The latest series were filmed in Vietnam for the first time after two years up in the Scottish Highlands.
It was a welcome change of scenery for Jason, who says that while the location was a fantastic canvas for their work, it had begun to get stale after four seasons.
The DS also put a focus on challenging the contestants' cognitive abilities as well as their physical mettle this time round.
But one thing viewers don't get to see is some of the hilarious banter and late night snacking between the DS.
Foxy says: "48 hours of content makes up 46 mins of TV. There's loads that doesn't make it in. There's some absolutely hilarious behind the scenes epics, that fortunately don't make it in sometimes.
"When we're on the ground on the tasks we're busy we get amongst stuff, but when we get back to our accommodation, we live in the same standards as they have, but we do have access to better food."
And while American Rudy might be the most ripped of the DS, he is the one with the biggest sweet tooth, which he indulges in their digs.
Jason says: "Let's get one thing straight, Rudy has got a sweet tooth, without a shadow of a doubt. I catch him going into the fridge late at night when we're living together, rummaging around in the bars of chocolate."
However, in a new campaign for Nestlé, its Foxy's sweet tooth that's on display.
In a slick, Guy Ritchie style video, Jason takes on the role of the Golden Handler, who's tasked with overseeing the safe
delivery of the first consignment of Nestlé's new Golden Collection range to an ASDA supermarket in London.
While Foxy might have scared off bad guys from pinching the sweet treats, he really needed saving from himself.
He is shown scoffing the golden Aero, Milkybar, Munchies and
Smarties packs was supposed to be protecting.
Foxy said: "During my time in the special forces, and afterwards working in private security details, I’ve overseen the delivery of many high value assets and they’ve all gone off without a hitch. This one didn’t, and I’m aware I haven’t covered myself in glory. If the Golden Collection wasn’t so delicious then that briefcase wouldn’t have
been tampered with."
Though he's a natural as the flawed guard, don't expect to see Foxy jetting off to Hollywood just yet.
Fans of Nestlé’s Golden Collection can enter a competition to win a number of Golden Collection treats straight from The Golden Handler himself. To enter, visit the AERO website.
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