SAS Australia: Everything you need to know about the reality show

With so many reality shows creating their own reality these days it is understandable that people wonder just how genuine SAS Australia is and whether the celebrities are really put through the same trials and tests SAS recruits face.

But this is one show where the conditions are just as severe as they look on screen.

SAS Australia 2021 recruits
The 2021 recruits are put through their paces in the Blue Mountains on SAS Australia. Photo: Instagram/@SASAustralia

When contestants enter the secluded location in the Blue Mountains, they will at least be better off than last year's recruits. It is certainly warmer than last year's location near Jindabyne in the Snowy Mountains, however, the base is still basic at best and barbaric at worst.

Modelled to represent military barracks, the celebrities must leave all creature comforts and personal items behind and are only allowed to enter with the clothes they are wearing at the time – not that they have those for long.


On their arrival, the recruits are all issued their kit (clothing and boots) and a Bergen, which means 'house on your back'. This is a backpack that contains everything they will need to survive and complete their tasks but there are definitely no luxuries in there.

"Living in our world will be the rawest and most brutal life lesson these celebrities will ever experience," chief instructor Ant Middleton explains. "We aren’t holding anything back, it’s as authentic as it gets."

Ollie Ollerton, Ant Middleton, Jason “Foxy” Fox, and Mark “Billy” Billingham
SAS Australia elite squad - Ollie Ollerton, Ant Middleton, Jason “Foxy” Fox, and Mark “Billy” Billingham. Photo: Instagram

They sleep on camp beds, have short drop toilets (a barrel with sawdust at the bottom) which offer little privacy and they have to clean themselves; and the only source of heat are two pot-belly stoves which the recruits must maintain so that they can dry their kit off for the next day.

The only water on-site is cold water – so there is no chance of a warm shower after a hard day of trials. Last year in the Snowy Mountains the local water temperature was 4°C on average, so it was understandable that hyperthermia was one of the medical conditions that contestants needed to be treated for. However, this year, with filming in May and temperatures in the Blue Mountains usually around 16 degrees at that time of year, it is positively balmy after Jindabyne.

The celebrities and sporting stars also have to leave their sense of identity behind as they are issued a number on entry and are only referred to by that number for the rest of their time on the show.

It's hardly surprising that after the eight seasons in the UK and the first season in Australia, only 13 recruits have passed selection.

SAS Australia contestants 2021
SAS Australia contestants 2021 Photo: instagram/@sasaustralia

So why would celebrities put themselves through this torture apart from the cachet of getting through the experience and testing their own resolve? Well, an insider revealed to the Daily Mail Australia last year that most of the contestants were paid between $30,000 and $50,000 and with one recruit lasting just six hours in 2020, that's a pretty handsome paycheck.

SAS Australia coming soon to Channel 7 and 7plus.

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