The next series of SAS: Who Dares Wins is said to be in doubt as bosses are struggling to find a replacement for Ant Middleton.
Producers have reportedly held emergency meetings this week as the show tries to cope with the Covid traffic lights travel system.
A source told The Sun replacing Ant, 40, has proved difficult after he was dropped by Channel 4 due to his alleged ‘personal conduct’.
Pressure: The next series of SAS: Who Dares Wins is said to be in doubt as bosses are struggling to find a replacement for Ant Middleton
The insider said: ‘Bosses really wanted this first series without Ant to go with a bang with an amazing new location, like an African desert.
‘They’re struggling to replace Ant. They can’t bring in a complete novice. It’s got to be someone who has that star appeal of Ant.’
‘That’s why picking one from the American version would have given the series a much needed lift but Covid is hampering all of that too.’
The source added that ’emails are being ignored’ and everyone working on the show is frustrated.
Replacment: A source told The Sun replacing Ant, 40, has proved difficult after he was dropped by Channel 4 due to his alleged ‘personal conduct’
Ant was dropped by Channel 4 – the home of SAS: Who Dares Wins UK – due to his alleged ‘personal conduct,’ with the presenter fiercely denying claims that he was axed for making ‘inappropriate’ or ‘lewd comments’ to female staff on set.
Speaking on a recent podcast, he hit out at ‘victim mentality’ and said he’s ‘too far gone now to be completely cancelled’.
He said: ‘I can get as drunk as a skunk and that’s not in my nature, that’s not who I am.
‘My family knows that and my wife knows that. I’m more of a boys’ boy – let’s f*** off the chicks and go and have a drink with the lads. It makes me realise how this victim mentality is really taking over.
They said: ‘They’re struggling to replace Ant. They can’t bring in a complete novice. It’s got to be someone who has that star appeal of Ant’ (pictured in 2019)
‘My career could be cancelled if I wasn’t who I am. I’m too far gone and too long in the tooth now to be completely cancelled.’
Ant also detailed how his wife Emilie had asked him about the furore following his exit from SAS: Who Dares UK, with him telling her to think about how he’s always acted around her and his ‘super polite’ nature.
He told the podcast: ‘I’m like, “Emilie, go back to who I am. When you first met me and I was drunk, have I ever been sleazy? No. Am I super polite? Yes, I am.”‘
Ant went on to claim there has been a ‘witch hunt’ against him in the UK, remarking: ‘Witch hunt? I never thought that existed until the latest shenanigans with SAS UK.’
The source added: ‘That’s why picking one from the American version would have given the series a much needed lift but Covid is hampering all of that too’
He added: ‘Ultimately people can see through it and know I was pushed before I could jump.’
Ant’s abrupt departure from SAS: Who Dares Wins, the show he helped launch in 2015, was confirmed by Channel 4 just two weeks before filming for its next series was scheduled to begin.
A spokesperson for Channel 4 told MailOnline at the time: ‘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.’
Couple: Ant also detailed how his wife Emilie had asked him about the furore following his exit from SAS: Who Dares Wins (pictured together in 2019)
Ant then ‘wholeheartedly’ denied claims he ‘joked about having sex with a female contestant’ on after previously hitting back at claims he made improper comments to female staff.
A spokesperson for Ant told MailOnline at the time: ‘Ant has worked on TV sets around the world for many years and has never at any point been accused of speaking inappropriately by anyone.
‘He has only ever been informed of these allegations, which he wholeheartedly and emphatically rejects, via the media.
‘If anyone felt that he did say anything verbally offensive we would have expected a formal process of review but no such discussion has ever taken place either via any of the networks he works for or via bodies such as Bectu.’
It came following a report by The Sun that Ant was heard telling a contestant he wanted to have sex with her via his microphone during filming.
A source claimed his comment were meant to be in jest, but still prompted a member of the show’s production team to complain, as it was alleged he said: ‘I’m going to f**k you after this.’
Ditched: A spokesperson for Channel 4 told MailOnline at the time of Ant’s axe: ‘It has become clear that our views and values are not aligned and we will not be working with him again’
A representative for Channel 4 told the publication that measures are in place so any complaints from staff can be handled confidentially.
Ant also denied claims of further behaviour after it was reported four women had accused him of making ‘lewd and suggestive comments’ on set.
The women approached the media union Bectu, who told The Mirror they are planning to meet with Channel 4 after Ant dismissed his behaviour as ‘military banter’ during an interview on Good Morning Britain.
It was also reported that Ant threatened to quit SAS: Who Dares Wins multiple times and ‘acted like a Hollywood star on the set’ before he was ultimately axed.
A source told The Sun: ‘Ant loved to be the star attraction and seemed to think the show needed him more than he needed it – and would act like that on set. He threatened to quit on several occasions.
‘It felt like some sort of party act, like he was untouchable. He did the same again in between filming the civilian and celebrity versions, which are filmed back-to-back. But no one believed his quit threats. No one is bigger than the show.’
Hitting back: Ant recently ‘wholeheartedly’ denied claims he ‘joked about having sex with a female contestant’ on SAS: Who Dares Wins (pictured in 2020)
After his axing, Ant appeared to take a swipe at Channel 4 as he shared a snap of himself with Australian football star Sabrina Frederick, writing on Instagram: ‘Don’t employ a lion if you want a kitten!’
Ant claims he was dropped from the show due to ‘butting heads’ with the team after he said it had become ‘more of a reality show’. He also claimed that Channel 4’s handling of his departure from the show was ‘reckless and desperate’.
The former soldier said he was preparing to walk away from the show because the ‘PC Patrol’ had taken over and it was no longer authentic.
Ant was also criticised last year for some of his posts about the coronavirus pandemic, saying in March he would carry on with life as usual during the outbreak.
He 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.
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.
Plans: Ant said that he is planning to move to Australia next year as the UK is a ‘bit pretentious’ for him (pictured in Sydney)
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.’
The tweet was in response to a video which claimed to be of ‘BLM/Antifa agitator hunting lone veterans and football lads in packs’.
Ant subsequently apologised, releasing a video message, saying: ”Within that tweet I mentioned the BLM and EDL and the word ‘scum’. At no point was I calling the BLM scum and comparing the two organisations. I want to make that really, really clear.
‘The word scum was used to describe the people in the video that were violent, that were causing terror on the streets of London and setting a bad example for our future generations.’
Controversy: It came following a report that Ant was heard telling a contestant he wanted to have sex with her during filming, leading a member of production to complain to bosses