Grenfell Tower firefighter Ricky Nuttall recalled suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as he appeared on Sunday’s first episode of SAS: Who Dares Wins series six.
The contestant, 39, broke down as he discussed the tragedy, which tragically claimed 72 people’s lives after a blaze tore through the residential block in west London in 2017.
Ricky surprised Ant Middleton, Jason Fox, Mark Billingham and new DS Melvyn Downes when he completed an abseiling task in just five seconds, but voluntarily quit the show at the end of the latest edition in rural Scotland.
‘I’d cry and I wouldn’t know why’: Grenfell Tower firefighter Ricky Nuttall recalled suffering from PTSD as he appeared on Sunday’s first episode of SAS: Who Dares Wins series six
The brave recruit failed to impress the hard-nose team during a hill sprint, which marked the first challenge of the series.
Despite getting off to a slow start, Ricky made a shock comeback when he was placed at the top of the list for the second duty.
The reality star was later interrogated by the cast when he touched on his background.
Ricky said: ‘The last three years… I suffered PTSD. I’d start crying and I didn’t know why.
Emotional: The contestant, 39, discussed the tragedy, which tragically claimed 72 people’s lives after a blaze tore through the residential block in west London in 2017
They’re back! Ant Middleton, Jason Fox, Mark Billingham lead the series with new DS Melvyn Downes
They’re back! Ant Middleton (second from left), Jason Fox (left), Mark Billingham (right) lead the series with new DS Melvyn Downes (second from right)
‘I tried to rescue someone and we had to turn back and that guy died. You want everyone to survive, and it’s f*****g heartbreaking. This course to me was a chance to start a new chapter in my life.
‘I do have some demons, and I hope I can overcome it during the course. When things don’t work out how you want them to, it hurts. I have a Saviour complex, I’m used to helping others.’
June 14 will mark four years since a small kitchen fire on the fourth floor in the high-rise turned into the most deadly domestic blaze since the Second World War.
A total of 72 residents lost their lives and a further 74 sent to hospital with non-fatal injuries.
Baring it all: The group was later forced to strip off in front of each other in the cold, before heading into their accommodation
Eek! The brave recruit failed to impress the hard-nose team during a hill sprint, which marked the first challenge of the series
She’s out! The recruits were expected to complete a ‘hell run’ up a hill in just 40 minutes, with Shireen, 28, being eliminated after falling behind the rest of the team
Tough: ‘It’s too heavy’, the contestant complained, before Billy said: ‘Shut up. The f*****g state of you! You’ve been taken off as a liability’
What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.
People with PTSD often suffer nightmares and flashbacks to the traumatic event and can experience insomnia and an inability to concentrate.
Symptoms are often severe enough to have a serious impact on the person’s day-to-day life, and can emerge straight after the traumatic event or years later.
PTSD is thought to affect about one in every three people who have a traumatic experience, and was first documented in the First World War in soldiers with shell shock.
People who are worried they have PTSD should visit their GP, who could recommend a course of psychotherapy or anti-depressants, the NHS say.
Combat Stress operate a 24-hour helpline for veterans, which can be reached on 0800 138 1619.
Ricky was among the firefighters who battled for nearly 24 hours before the inferno was eventually brought under control at 1.14am.
Moments later, the TV star handed in his number and left the bootcamp. The programme kicked off with new DS Melvyn instructing the contestants to place their faces in pools of mud as they ran through a field.
The group was later forced to strip off in front of each other in the cold, before heading into their accommodation.
The recruits were expected to complete a ‘hell run’ up a hill in just 40 minutes, with Shireen, 28, being eliminated after falling behind the rest of the team.
Too much: Champion circus artist Holly, 32 – who is the show’s first-ever trans participant – collapsed
‘I’m a fighter and I’ll keep on fighting’: The Derby native touched on her motivation behind joining the show after she was examined by a medic
‘It’s too heavy’, the contestant complained, before Billy said: ‘Shut up. The f*****g state of you! You’ve been taken off as a liability.’
The female Muslim contestant recently claimed she was prevented from preforming at her best because of ‘insensitivity’ towards her faith and gender.
Shireen said she feared she would catch hypothermia after refusing to strip off in front of the cameras and fellow contestants because of her beliefs.
The entrepreneur also complained that she was not served any halal food and became constipated after being unable to use a bucket as a toilet while men were present.
The North London native told MailOnline: ‘Being on the show was an incredible experience and something that will live with me forever. But I do believe that cultural insensitivity towards my Muslim faith and being a woman, held me back.
‘After a mud challenge, the other contestants were comfortable stripping off in front of each other and the cameras but as a Muslim woman, I couldn’t do it.
‘I had to keep on wet clothes, which left me cold and shivering and I was worried that I would catch hypothermia. I had to wait until I could change my clothes privately.
‘The toilet was one of two outdoor buckets and I wasn’t able to go properly during my time on the set because men were using an adjoining one. Because of my culture I wasn’t comfortable doing that.
‘I believe that there needs to be greater diversity on the show and the only way you can do that is by being more aware of cultural sensitivities.
‘I’m going to be the dark horse’: Dental engineer Kieran, 25, was the last to complete the course, but still seemed determined as he spoke about his speech impediment
‘These are all barriers that are preventing people from diverse backgrounds from participating in Who Dares Wins and even joining the British armed forces.
‘The programme has already had problems around Ant Middleton, and I feel that Channel 4 need to address the issues that I’m raising.’
Stripper Esther, 28, followed in her footsteps by being booted off the show, while champion circus artist Holly, 32 – who is the show’s first-ever trans participant – collapsed.
The Derby native touched on her motivation behind joining the show after she was examined by a medic, stating: ‘I kept going and going, next I was face down on the ground.
‘I just tried to find my place in the world so got bullied quite a lot. If I was to tell the world who I was, I was going to let my family down. I hated myself for it.
‘I still have my male genitalia and I plan to get rid of it in the future. I’m a fighter and I’ll keep fighting.’
Dental engineer Kieran, 25, was the last to complete the course, but still seemed determined as he spoke about his speech impediment.
What the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee (HCLGC) is calling for, three years after the devastating Grenfell fire
The parliamentary committee report into high-risk residential buildings, which is titled, Cladding: Progress of Remediation, calls for:
- The Government to ensure all buildings of any height with ACM cladding to be fully remediated of all fire safety defects by December 2021.
- Buildings with other fire safety defects, including non-ACM cladding, should be remediated before June 2022.
- The Building Safety Fund to be increased to address all fire safety defects in every high-risk residential building, potentially costing up to £15 billion.
- Any residential building where works have not commenced by December this year to be subject to a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), with a new national body created to step in where councils are ‘unable or unwilling to act’.
The electrician said: ‘I have a stutter, I can’t even say my last name. I’m going to be a dark horse, that’s going to be me.’
Melvyn, who led operational tours in Iraq and Northern Ireland and served more than two decades in the Armed Forces, appears alongside Ant for the new series filmed before the latter was axed from the show.
He is the first mixed-race member of the SAS team, recruited to replace Ollie Ollerton who departed the show last year.
Having served over 20 years in the Armed Forces, the survival expert also spent 12 years in the SAS and is now a Scout Leader, and insisted that his position on the show isn’t simply to boost Channel 4’s ‘diversity drive.’
In March, former solider Ant was dropped by Channel 4 bosses due to his ‘personal conduct’, with him fiercely denying claims that he was axed for making ‘inappropriate’ comments to female staff.
He told The Sun: ‘I know people are going to say it’s all about race, but I don’t see it that way. To be a part of this programme you’ve got to be competent to do the job, that’s number one.
‘Because I had 24 years in the British military, got to senior rank as a Warrant Officer and led countless SAS operations, I think I have got the necessary experience first of all to back it up.’
Father-of-three Melvyn grew up on a council estate in Stoke and for the past decade has been living in Dubai working for both British Scouting Overseas and corporate security.
The new series features a surprise twist with one of the Directing Staff going undercover among the 21 recruits taking part.
This civilian series and the upcoming celebrity version were both recorded last year before Ant, who is now in Australia filming the country’s version of the show, was axed from the show by Channel 4 bosses.
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.’
Last stint: In March, former solider Ant was dropped by Channel 4 bosses due to his ‘personal conduct’