Contestants on the new BBC2 show, Ultimate Hell Week, have been praised by a former paratrooper turned fitness consultant from Northamptonshire who advised on the show.
Lee Andrew was part of a six-man crew who ran the challenges faced by the members of the public taking on extreme military training. The show puts contestants through six two-day sessions with special forces instructors from around the world, including America, Russia, Isreal, Australia and our own SAS.
Presented by former cricketer Freddie Flintoff, the show runs over six weeks on Sunday nights and has two episodes left before the winner is chosen.
Mr Andrew said he was in the right place at the right time when the crew was formed to run the show.
“I had done a couple of shows with Freddie before on Sky and they needed special forces instructors to back up all the international instructors from the different countries.
“I was part of a team of six and I was there for the whole journey with the contestants.
“It was interesting to watch how they coped with it. I have worked with special forces around the world but these people had never experienced anything like it and the mental toughness that is required.
“They all really went through it, there are no bones about it, they really were put through it. Hats off to all those who took part.”
So how close was it to the real training experience for special forces?
“I have more than 10 years experience in the military and you have to remember that the contestants were subject to health and safety laws - we weren’t when we went through it!” he said.
“The different special forces trainers were excellent. There is a mutual respect among the military breed and they all brought something fresh to the table. Every two days there was a new instructor who wanted to make their mark on the contestants,” he added.
Since taking part in the show, Mr Andrew, who starred in Strictly Northampton in 2013, has appeared on the One Show Live and has several other projects in the pipeline as a result of the show. He also runs his own fitness boot camp, Hybrid Boot Camp at Badby in Northamptonshire.