Who is Melvyn Downes? Military career of SAS Who Dares Wins star!

Melvyn Downes has officially joined the bosses of SAS: Who Dares Wins, to guide and instruct the recruits for the 2021 series.

He will be featuring on the Channel 4 show, alongside chief instructor Ant Middleton and his team of directing staff, Foxy and Billy.

During what is believed to be their toughest, most unforgiving selection course in the six-year history, the recruits will be put to the ultimate test.

So, who is Melvyn Downes? We explored his military career to see how his experience made him the perfect new DS for this year’s series.

Ep1. John (2), Jamie (14), and Melvyn. Picture: Channel 4. Picture Publicist: Duncan Webb. Photographer: Pete Dadds

Who is Melvyn Downes?

Melvyn, 56, is the new directing staff member on SAS: Who Dares Wins.

The Staffordshire-born Channel 4 star is an ex-SAS operative who served in the British military.

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He wanted to join the military from the age of three, when he used to play with toy soldiers, and went on to watch every war movie he could.

American war film Platoon is officially his favourite army film.

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Melvyn Downes: Military career

Melvyn has spent 24 years of his life serving in the British military, which includes 11 years in the SAS.

He had joined the Cadets by the age of 11, before later leaving school aged 16 and signing up to the British Army, with his parent’s permission.

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 then joined the elite special forces in 1994.

During his 12 years in the SAS, he led top-secret missions, served behind enemy lines and achieved the prestigious rank of Warrant Officer.

Melvyn Downes talks SAS: Who Dares Wins

Having spent most of his life undercover, it was “slightly terrifying” for Melvyn to join the show’s directing staff, but also “an exciting experience”.

He said a couple of the personal stories that the civilians shared with them really hit home for him, as he had gone through similar experiences.

When asked why he wanted to join the series, Melvyn revealed:

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, which led 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. 

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