TV presenter Helen Skelton has said she was surprised at how much a drownproofing challenge in the latest episode of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, scared her.
The Springtime On The Farm presenter is among the six remaining celebrities on the Channel 4 programme, who in Monday night’s penultimate episode are plunged into freezing water.
The celebrities including Rudimental DJ Locksmith and former boxer Tony Bellew are taken to a remote waterfall where they must tackle a survival technique known as drownproofing, which sees them alternating between the bottom and surface of the water to take breaths with their hands tied.
The 36-year-old, the only celebrity not to pass the task, told the PA news agency: “I was really surprised at how it frightened me. It was the first thing I was like ‘I’m not sure I want to do that’.
“I think the trouble is in that environment, the minute you hesitate, it becomes a massive thing. The more people shout at you, the more it makes it a drama. If I’d not said anything, it would have been fine.”
Before the task the recruits are lined up in order from strongest to weakest, with Skelton ranked the second strongest, following Locksmith.
Reality TV star Joey Essex is ranked the weakest by chief instructor Ant Middleton, who tells the recruits: “This next phase is all about resilience, have you got what it takes to get to the end of this course?”
In a clip shown after the challenge, Skelton says: “I ran 80 miles in the Namibian desert, I cycled to the South Pole, I walked a high wire at Battersea Power Station – loads of stuff scares me, I’m just willing to do it even though I’m scared.
“The scariest thing I ever did was give birth in the kitchen by myself, with my three-year-old bashing me on my head with sword, that was pretty scary, but it’s not like you have any choice is it?”
The former Blue Peter presenter delivered her new son Louis on the floor of the kitchen in her family home in Perpignan, in the south of France, in 2017.
In Monday night’s episode, the mother-of-two says she wanted to take part in Celebrity SAS because she feels she “got to the point where I needed to do something to know that I’m good at stuff”.
She explains: “I sort of feel like over the last couple of years I’ve got a bit lost in terms of who and what I am about. Being a mum is amazing and the best thing ever but there’s a lot times when you think ‘I’m not that good at this’.
“Somewhere in my brain I’m like ‘No, I am good at stuff, I’m not a total failure’, but I just wanted to have a chance to know that I can do something that’s not only wiping my boys’ bums”.
The episode also sees them tackle escape and evasion, before which they are also paired up and put through a gruelling physical endurance task.
Joining Skelton, Essex, Bellew and Locksmith in the top six is soap star Nikki Sanderson and paralympian Lauren Steadman.
– The final episode of Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins airs on Channel 4 at 9pm on May 25.