SAS' Shannan Ponton on son's health battle: 'I never knew'

Marni Dixit
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·5-min read

SAS Australia star Shannan Ponton has revealed his youngest son Bronx was going through a health battle that the personal trainer had no idea about because of his participation on the reality show.

Speaking with Nova's Fitzy and Wippa, Shannan shared that his wife found out their son was suffering with a bone tumour as he was on his way to compete on SAS.

Shannan Ponton and son Bronx
Shannan Ponton has revealed his son had a health scare while he was filming SAS Australia, so he didn't know about it. Photo: Facebook

"Is this the toughest thing you’ve ever done?" Michael 'Wippa' Wipfli asked the star.

"Undoubtably mate, undoubtably. It’s not so much the missions that you see us on each day, it's the relentless day of the behind-the-scenes things. Everyone saw us abseiling but what they didn’t realise it was a 90 minutes down with 20 kg pack and a two hour March back. It was relentless," Shannan responded.

The former Biggest Loser star suffered an extreme case of hypothermia during a challenge on the gruelling TV show that saw him and his fellow recruits jump out of a helicopter into near-freezing water.


He continued, "The first task we had after that hypothermia was jumping back into the water take the next day, that’s the most scared I’ve ever been.

"Then we got the letters from home and mate, I found out later that on the morning I was driving down to film SAS my wife found out that my youngest son had a bone tumour. And my wife didn’t let on she held it herself, I never knew she had such fortitude. If she had've told me I would’ve turned around and driven home."

Ryan 'Fitzy' Fitzgerald asked if his son was alright with Shannan revealing, "He’s on a watch and act at the moment, he has to have a repeat x-ray in eight weeks. As it stands at the moment he’s okay. To realise how much she supported me."

SAS Australia
Shannan revealed on Fitzy and Wippa that his wife didn't tell him about their youngest son's bone tumour. Photo: Seven

Shannan also spoke about his feud with Firass Dirani on the show, which came after the trainer called the actor a "sociopath" to News.Com.Au.

He told the publication, "Time and time again, we said, 'Listen mate, you've got to stop this behaviour.' And he said, 'What behaviour?'"

The Underbelly actor then took a swipe at Shannan's tattoos, "What's with his Maori tattoos?

"You're embarrassing a whole culture. You are not worthy of such ancestral powerful artwork. You don't even fall on the coattails of such warriors. You culture vulture."

Fitzy questioned on the show how bad things got between himself and Firass on the show with Shannan responding, "Yeah it was pretty serious, what I said to him is that he’s a sociopath. As I understand it sociopaths have a disconnection to reality and the effect that their actions have on other people which in my mind is exactly what happened.

Shannan Ponton, Erin McNaught, Nick Cummins on SAS Australia
Shannan revealed how tough the show was on the recruits. Photo: Seven

"The second part I said is that he needs to keep his mouth shut and to this point that’s as much as I said. I’m not someone who is into name-calling, I’m not into social media battles, I’m a face-to-face type of guy. I’m not really into the whole social media and calling names and that.

"I found it a bit weird for him to pull out the race card. I thought never crossed my mind, I don’t give two hoots about where you’re born or what your race is I just care how you act. And unfortunately his actions and huge impact on our ability to complete the missions as we were."

When asked if things get worse with Firass on the show, Shannan said there's more to come.

"Unfortunately I don’t think anything changes. Still to this point, there was no apology coming. Is someone is physically incapable of finishing a task you could never hold it against them but we were punished totally and utterly avoidable.

"We had Molly in tears, we had Sabrina in tears, we said all we wanted is an acknowledgement. Merrick and I because we’re a little bit older, we just wanted to put an end to it, some of the younger recruits were a little bit afraid of confrontation."

Interestingly, on the show, Firass was actually seen helping Shannan while he was violently shaking during his battle with hypothermia.

Shannan Ponton and Firass Dirani
Firass was actually seen helping Shannan while he was violently shaking during his battle with hypothermia. Photo: Seven

Footage shows Firass handing Shannan a cup of hot water to help him with the cold, before he took any for himself.

When the trainer said he wasn't able to hold the cup, Firass reassured him that it was alright and would help him.

"I also undressed him on the hill. They showed the commandos dressing him, but cut who took his tops off. I did. They cut it," Firass said, according to Daily Mail.

"Then I took his temperature from his ears because the doctor was in an awkward position. The doctor passed the gauge to me, and I took the temperature twice at different times to see how bad the situation was."

Speaking of the fact none of that footage was aired, he said, "This is not enough. There's more to come. [They're] always cutting my success and humanity."

He also told TV Week that because Shannan "lost his memory" of this moment, he doesn't realise how the actor helped him.

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