Channel 4 has been blasted for a ‘spineless surrender to the PC police,’ over the sacking of SAS: Who Dares Wins star Ant Middleton after he shared controversial views on the Black Lives Matter protesters and Covid-19.
Channel 4 has said it will no longer work with the 40-year-old because ‘our views and values are not aligned’.
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan later tweeted: ‘Absurd that Channel 4 fired Ant Middleton for his opinions. He’s an SBS special forces war hero, what did they think they were hiring – a shrinking violet choirboy?
‘Such a spineless surrender to the PC Police.’
The ex-Special Boat Service commando branded BLM protesters ‘absolute scum,’ along with EDL protesters, after groups were seen clashing in London last June.
He later apologised for the comments, saying he was ‘anti-racist and anti-violence’.
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, healso said he would ignore Covid-19 advice and told people to ‘carry on as normal’.
The ex-special forces presenter said yesterday he had ‘decided it’s time to move on’ from the hit show.
Ant Middleton has been axed from Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, after the channel said ‘our views and values are not aligned’. The former Royal Marine branded Black Lives Matter protesters ‘absolute scum’ last year and garnered criticism for comments at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic
ANT MIDDLETON’S PREVIOUS BLM AND COVID COMMENTS
Following clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and EDL members in London last summer, Ant Middleton tweeted: ‘The extreme left against the extreme right. When did two wrongs make a right. It was only a matter of time. BLM and EDL are not welcome on our streets, absolute scum. What a great example you are to your future generation. Bravo.’
He later apologised for the comments, saying he was ‘anti-racist and anti-violence’.
The tweet came after Middleton, 40, garnered controversy at the start of the pandemic.
In March last year he filmed himself saying: ‘Am I still out travelling the world? Yes. Am I still shaking hands? Yes. Am I still cuddling fans at the airport? Yes. Am I washing my hands and keeping my hygiene to a high standard as always? Yes.
‘Has my life changed? No. Am I going to let some disease, COVID-19, dictate my life? Absolutely not. Get out there, don’t change, F**k COVID-19!’
He later admitted the comments were a ‘mistake,’ he made while filming in New Zealand. He said he had: ‘probably been a bit insensitive towards the magnitude, the scale, of the crisis that’s happening in the UK.’
Middleton’s military career saw him serve in the Special Boat Service, the Royal Marines and 9 Parachute Squadron Royal.
He was jailed for 14 months after assaulting two police officers in his home town of Chelmsford, Essex, in 2013.
Last March he said his comments urging people to ‘get out there,’ during the Covid-19 pandemic was a ‘mistake’.
Middleton said he had filmed himself in New Zealand and admitted he had ‘probably been a bit insensitive towards the magnitude, the scale, of the crisis that’s happening in the UK.’
A spokesperson for Channel 4 earlier told MailOnline: ‘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.’
Celebrities including fellow presenter Ben Shepherd, ex-footballer John Terry and singer Olly Murrs have leant their support to Middleton, saying it ‘won’t be the same,’ without him.
Middleton has been chief instructor on the Channel 4 show since 2015.
In a cryptic tweet sent earlier today, Colin MacLachlan, who was on the directing staff for the first series, responded to news of Middleton’s sacking with the caption: ‘Karma’.
His reaction is wildly different to many fans, who have slammed the ‘PC brigade,’ after Middleton told followers he had ‘decided it’s time to move on’.
Tweeting last night, Middleton said: ‘After 5 incredible years I’ve decided it’s time to move on from SAS: Who Dares Wins UK.
‘Big respect to my fellow DS – it’s been a journey I’ll never forget.
Piers Morgan said it was ‘absurd,’ that Channel 4 ‘fired,’ Middleton. But addressing fans today, Middleton said he had ”decided it’s time to move on,’ from the show
‘Thanks to everyone that took part and made the show what it is. Really excited about the future and what’s coming this year.’
Good Morning Britain and Tipping Point host Ben Shephard replied today: ‘Have loved every minute Ant Middleton, we’ll miss watching you on the show but will look forward to what’s coming next!’
Musician Olly Murs said he was ‘gutted,’ while former England captain John Terry said: ‘It won’t be the same without you mate’.
One follower replied: ‘CH4 have made a massive mistake and I will be boycotting the programme in protest. You made that show and without you it will fail.
‘Hopefully the other 2 quit after seeing the appalling way CH4 have treated you. Keep voicing your opinion & do not let these people silence you’
Another said: ‘PC gone mad, great programme, will miss you in it. I hope to see you back on our screens soon.’
Celebrity friends offered their condolences as Middleton shared the news earlier today
Colin MacLachlan, a member of the directing staff for the first series of SAS: Who Dares Wins, reacted to today’s news by tweeting: ‘Karma’
Fan Jacob Broughton wrote: ‘Shock that woke channel 4 can’t stomach a veteran who may have differing opinions from them. Joke of a tv network.’
Another wrote: ‘This was a good show. Wonder why he’s really left. Maybe his actions last summer haven’t helped but why now and not then?’
‘Another person forced out because they dared to voice a different opinion,’ wrote another supporter.
Fans threatened to boycott SAS: Who Dares Wins as they claim the ‘woke brigade,’ cost Middleton his job
Middleton was reportedly forced to quit his role as the Royal Navy’s Chief Cadet after just nine months, after his controversial ‘scum’ tweet about Black Lives Matter protesters last summer.
The TV tough guy, who took on the role in November, was said to have left his bosses furious after posting the since-deleted tweet, amid protests over racial injustice after the death of George Floyd in the US.
On June 14, Ant tweeted: ‘The extreme left against the extreme right. When did two wrongs make a right. It was only a matter of time. BLM and EDL are not welcome on our streets, absolute scum. What a great example you are to your future generation. Bravo.’
Ant Middleton: Veteran of Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Afghanistan and prison
Ant Middleton, 40, describes himself as an ‘adventurer,’ but the axed Channel 4 presenter’s life has seen him serve in the Royal Marines, spend time in prison, before becoming one of the most recongisable faces on TV.
Portsmouth-born Middleton joined the army in 1998, aged 17, serving in the 9 Parachute Squadron of the Royal Engineers on tours in Northern Ireland and Macedonia.
He left the army, but joined the Royal Marines in 2005, passing out of his commando course in 2006 and earning the King’s Badge for best all round recruit.
The veteran completed his first tour of Afghanistan in 2007, before joining the Special Boat Service in 2008, where he served for four years as a sniper and point man.
He completed two more tours of Afghanistan, before going on to work in security in South Africa and for West African goverments, while also guarding VIPs.
He was sentenced to 14 months in prison for attacking two police officers in his hometown of Chelmsford, Essex, in 2013.
According to The Sun, Middleton had been trying to break up a fight between a group of men and his friends, but when police arrived, he lashed out, before fleeing the scene.
In 2016 he told the paper: ‘On the night it happened I just had to escape, not run.
‘My survival skills were in overdrive and I needed time to think so I headed to the river.
‘I’ve regretted it ever since. It’s one of the biggest regrets I’ve had in my life.’
Two years after the incident, he was chief instructor on SAS: Who Dares Wins, a position he held until yesterday’s announcement.
Last year he gained criticism for branding protesters in London ‘absolute scum,’ just months after he had told people ‘get out there, don’t change,’ during the early weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He had appointed as the Royal Navy’s Chief Cadet, but was reportedly forced to quit his role over the comments towards BLM protesters.