Jake Quickenden has said he feared he would not be able to hold his baby son after suffering a devastating injury that forced him to leave SAS: Who Dares Wins and have surgery.
The reality star, 33, whose son Leo was born in February, was among the strongest contestants in the current celebrity series of the Channel 4 show, which was filmed before the baby arrived.
He was forced to withdraw after suffering a shoulder injury in a water extraction challenge which involved being pulled out of the sea into a speedboat.
However, he said he loved taking part in the show so much he has already asked if he can take part in the series again next year.
He told the PA news agency: “I’d say it’s up there with probably the worst injury I’ve had, really. And I’ve broken my neck and I broken my legs.
“I said in my interview before the show that the only way I’d be leaving this show is in the back of an ambulance and that’s what happened.
“I ruptured my pectoral and my bicep. so basically both tendons were ripped off the bone and that’s why my chest was hanging down and it just went black straight away.
“And if I hadn’t had it operated on, I would have only had about 10 to 15% strength in my arm, I wouldn’t have been able to do a lot of things.
“So it was a good job I got it diagnosed and went to surgery.
“I had four pins in my shoulder that are still in my shoulder now and it’s been a year on and and it’s pretty much back to normal now I can do everything and boxing again and stuff like that.”
Quickenden said he was “devastated” to leave the show before the end, adding: “I just wanted to finish that course, I was on the phone to the producer in the back of the ambulance asking if I could do next year, that’s how much I wanted to finish it.
“As soon as I’d got injured, I looked at it and thought ‘Right, here we go. I’ve got something else to get over now, I’ve got to get back to normal, I’ve got a baby on the way.’
“I didn’t have Leo at the time and I thought ‘I don’t want to be not able to hold him,’ so I need to get this operation done and get back to normal.”
The former X Factor contestant said taking part in SAS was “200% harder than I thought it was going to be.”
He continued; “I thought it would be hard but it never stopped. When we finished something I thought surely we’ll just have a nice walk back to the cars now maybe get a hot chocolate on the way.
We were literally running back in puddles and they were screaming in our faces, it never stopped. So anybody that goes in even does an hour on that show, I applaud them because it is so tough.”
He added: “I’ve been asked in the street, is it actually as hard as it seems?
“I’m like, ‘Honestly, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done’.”
Honestly, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done…it was brutal.
“I still have nightmares about it, just laying in the puddles.
“I’ve run past a puddle now and I’m like, ‘Oh God, Ant (Middleton) would have had me in that.’
Asked whether he was more disappointed to be eliminated early from The X Factor or from SAS, he said: “SAS, I could give a shit about a singing competition.
“I just wanted to finish that SAS course.
“X Factor was it was my first ever show, I’d only been doing music for a couple of years.
“I enjoyed it, it gave me an amazing platform, I didn’t get as far as what I wanted, I wanted to show more of me as a musician, as a singer, but I didn’t.
“And I came out and everyone will always look at me as the guy that went out quite early on X Factor, rather than somebody who’s actually not bad at singing, but I’ve accepted that now.
“I just take my opportunities, and I try and be nice. And that’s all you can do.”
SAS: Who Dares wins continues next Sunday on Channel 4.