‘SAS: Who Dares Wins‘ returns to Channel 4 later this month for an eighth series. A new group of recruits will be faced with the most savage selection course yet, as they head into the deepest, darkest, most unforgiving jungle in the world, in Thung Ui, North Vietnam. Leading the Directing Staff (DS) this series, will be Billy (Mark Billingham), who spent half his decorated military career serving in the jungle. He will be joined by returning DS, Foxy (Jason Fox), Rudy Reyes and brand new member of the DS team, Chris Oliver, a former Special Forces Operator.
Throughout the 6 x 1 hour episodes, the new SAS: Who Dares Wins DS will lead 20 ordinary men and women through the punishing jungle phase of SAS selection – one of the toughest environments faced by Special Forces operatives. Testing their mental and physical ability, by the end of the series, the recruits will discover who has what it takes to pass this unique SAS selection course.
As the series’ DS with the most jungle warfare military experience, Billy Billingham MBE is this year taking over the Chief Instructor reigns. He spent 27 Years in the military, reaching the highest NCO rank in the SAS – Sergeant Major. Starting his career in the jungle in Belize in 1984, and concluding his military career in the jungle in 2008 in Brunei. An advanced Jungle Warfare Instructor, his time spent in the jungle, from training to operational, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Belize, British Guiana, Africa, is unparalleled. In fact, when he left the military, he was the senior military instructor in the world’s leading jungle warfare training school.
New Directing Staff, Chris Oliver (40) is a former Special Forces Operator and Royal Marine Mountain Leader, with 16 years combat experience. Chris, who hails from the North East of England, joined the military at 16 and served within the elite Special Boat Service, alongside fellow DS Foxy. He was deployed on operations to Sierra Leone, Northern Ireland, Oman, Iraq, and Afghanistan, before leaving the military in 2015.
On taking on the new SAS: Who Dares Wins Chief Instructor role, Billy said: “Having been a DS on actual military SAS selection and Chief Instructor at the British Army Jungle Warfare Training School in Brunei, there is nobody better placed than myself to lead the recruits through this treacherous environment. I’m looking forward to challenging and encouraging the new recruits. However, I will not be accepting any excuses – this will be the toughest course to date!”
Chris commented on being the newest member of the SAS: Who Dares Wins DS, “I will bring a hard-hitting intensity to the SAS: Who Dares Wins DS, being a fiery character with a very passionate approach to military training, with respect being at the forefront of everything I do. The values I intend to instil in the recruits, as part of the DS, have been forged on operations where we have lost good operators, so they had better be under no illusions – anyone who doesn’t play by the rules will pay the price.”
Sharing his thoughts on the new DS team and the next series of SAS: Who Dares Wins, Foxy commented: “Taking the course into the jungle, which is one of the most intimidating environments in the world, will make this one of the most intense and challenging courses yet.” He added: “We’ve got Billy as Chief Instructor, which makes total sense, for this course, as he has the most experience leading military operations and training in the jungle. I’d happily follow him into any situation. It’s also great to have Chris on board as a brand new DS. A man who I respect, having served with him before, he will bring an extra edge to an already very sharp blade. And as always, Rudy and I will be there to pack an already powerful punch.”
Rudy added: “Going to Vietnam for the first time, to film SAS: Who Dares Wins, was an emotional homecoming for me. My father was a US Marine who did multiple tours of duty in the Vietnam War and because of those scars inside and out I never knew him while he was alive. But I was born with his passion and energy to be a Warrior and to go to the edge to find out if I have what it takes. It was an honor to work with the gracious Vietnamese people to bring the best SAS: Who Dares Wins series yet. And a humble honor to tread the harsh but beautiful jungles and rivers that my father, did, and in a sense meeting him in a warrior way, spiritually.”
On the new DS line up for this series, Rudy said: “Brace yourselves for impact Ladies and Gents!!! We have the roughest, toughest most carnivorous DS line-up! B Squadron Bad Ass Billy Billingham is leading the course for this Jungle Series of SAS: Who Dares Wins. My man has the skills, wisdom and knowledge of jungle survival like no operator I have ever known. So much respect for Chris and legends Billy and Foxy, so standby for a hardcore SAS: Who Dares Wins series!”